Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Third Advisor

Dr. Darrell Groves


This study took place at a historically black college or university (HBCU) in the southeastern region of the United States. The participants were two administrators who worked directly with international students, 11 international graduate students, and seven international undergraduate students. Grounded theory was used to analyze the data because this theory is built upon information gathering which can lead to the emergence of concepts or themes.

The purpose of this study was to examine the institutional efforts of a HBCU to retain international students. The study collected qualitative data to analyze international students’ social integration and acculturation to HBCU culture, as well as their perceptions, attitudes, and ideas regarding institutional retention efforts. To analyze the qualitative data, the researcher used open coding to identify emergent themes from the interviews. The descriptive statistics provided numerical references about the increasing cost of attendance, increasing enrollment of international students, and decreasing enrollment of domestic students.

The findings of the study indicated that many international students did not know about HBCU campuses, nor were they socially involved on campus; however, this did not have an effect on their retention.