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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities




School of Education and Human Services


As the rate of enrollment increases for Black and Brown students in U.S. colleges and universities, in part, due to innovative and strategic recruitment and enrollment efforts to attract them, research shows that students of color benefit from intentional and strength-based college support services to ensure that they can thrive and persist toward graduation. In this narrative case study, I explored the perceived experiences of Black and Brown alumni who were participants in a mentoring program at a predominantly White institution (PWI). In-depth interviews with 20 alumni chronicled their lived experiences and perceptions as they navigated the PWI with the help of their assigned mentor. Utilizing critical race theory (CRT) and culturally relevant education as frameworks, I found that student mentees described how their mentors assisted them with cultural competence and critical consciousness skills. I conceptualize this type of mentoring as culturally responsive as both White mentors and mentors of color provided the students with 1) strategies to combat feelings of isolation and microaggressions, 2) clarity for next steps post-graduation, and 3) a thought partner to help them think through prominent racial equity issues on campus, some of which were unique to PWI’s. Mentors of color were perceived to give students of color the additional value of role modeling. Limitations and implications for future research as well as suggestions and considerations for institutions of higher learning to implement culturally responsive mentoring programs are presented.

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