Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Second Committee Member

Carol-Anne Phekoo

Third Committee Member

Debbiesiu Lee

Fourth Committee Member

Anthony J. Kreider


Although female college students in the United States from all racial and ethnic groups outperform their male counterparts in key academic areas, including retention and persistence rates, the college persistence gap between Black women and Black men is the widest. The purpose of this study was to explore if there is a difference in intent-to-persist between Black males and Black females and to identify the role non-cognitive factors may play. The survey results obtained from self-identified Black students at one community college were analyzed using a hierarchical multiple regression with four subsequent blocks to explore the effect on intent-to-persist using student gender, grit, family influences, sociocultural influences, and their interactions as predictors. The results of the study showed that family influence was found to be a significant predictor of persistence, regardless of gender. Also, while the persistence of Black males was virtually unaffected by sociocultural influences, Black female persistence was significantly, negatively affected by the same sociocultural influences. The results suggest that higher education personnel should validate all students but especially community college students who may be nontraditional, Black students should continue to overcome environmental pull while continuing to assertively pursue their academic goals and families should support their college students without exerting excessive pressure. Future research recommendations are provided.


gender gap; Black college students; sociocultural influences; family influences; validation; persistence