The Ingredients of Success: A Positivistic Approach to Black Students Graduation and the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse

Christian Wendland


The project is a qualitative exploration of the pathways black students take in order to reach graduation.  Uncovering the ingredients most vital to their academic success at UW-La Crosse was done through in-depth interviews with eight recently graduated, or expecting to graduate, black seniors. This research explores the relationship between motivational factors and academic success.

Themes of identity development, adaptation strategies, and racial consciousness are woven into the paper. The project is an effort to locate where and how these students position themselves within the framework of the university. This insight into black students’ successful graduation is to refine the tools administrators, faculty, and students use in addressing diversity related issues at UW-L, specifically the graduation gap between black students and the larger student body. The results offer insights into how a diverse learning environment beneficial to all students can best be created.


Minority, Education, Graduation, Predominantly White Institution (PWI), Success

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