Nakita M. Saxon



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This study explores the implications of leadership experiences on undergraduate male students of color and its impact on their sense of belonging at a private, religious, Predominantly White Institution. Enrollment statistics depict a low retention rate among minority students, especially male students of color identifying as Black, Latino, Asian American, and Pacific Islander. A sense of belonging is a vital component to the academic success of all students, and essential to the experience of multicultural students on Predominately White Institutions. According to researchers, a student’s sense of belonging comes as a result of many different factors. For many students, their leadership experiences cultivate a sense of belonging and stronger connection to the institution. The exploration of involvement and leadership experiences, sense of belonging, and campus climate assist in visualizing the complexities of this problem for male students of color. Through in-depth one-on-one interviews on the lived experiences of male students of color, this research examines the impact of student leadership roles on their collegiate careers. Findings included insight on the interrelated concepts of retention, campus climate, sense of belonging, and servant leadership for the participants of this study. As expected, students are impacted by the university's faculty and staff but are also heavily influenced by their peers and the leadership opportunities as they engage in student organizations on campus. Recommendations will allow both faculty and staff to identify the benefits of cultivating environments where male students of color are encouraged to seek out and actively participate in student leadership roles on campus where they feel their differences are welcomed, valued and supported.

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Course Project

Primary Advisor

Abd El Nasser A Abd El Razek

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


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This poster reflects research conducted as part of course project designed to give students experience in the research process.

Increasing Retention in Male Students of Color Through Student Leadership Experiences