Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Higher Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Paul Bylsma

Academic Year



Past and present literature suggests that racial identity development has a presumably positive influence on Black students’ academic achievement in college settings. The literature also shows that Black students continue to underperform in academic settings when compared to their White counterparts. Throughout this literature and development of an intervention, these issues begin to merge as racial identity development is linked to academic achievement at PWIs. This project explores what exactly it means to develop Black Identity in college, and why this is impacting academic achievement among Black students. Through identification of these issues, a course will be designed in order to address them. The course will aim to provide first-year Black Students with Black History as well as information on how to develop their identity on campus will be implemented at Grand Valley State University, a regional comprehensive university.