The majority of African American students who begin postsecondary educational pursuits do not graduate within 6 years, resulting in one of the lowest postsecondary completion rates in America. As of Fall 2019, the degree applicable retention rate for African American students in California community colleges was 62%, compared to all students 87.65%. The purpose of this quantitative, nonexperimental study was to examine whether a learning community positively affected retention and success rates of African American students in community colleges, comparing outcomes with cohort Fall 2016 with cohort Fall 2019. This analysis applied Tinto’s Student Integration Model Theoretical Framework with supporting works from Kuh and Astin. The study examines the cumulative retention and success rates of Afrocentric learning communities on California community college campuses. The sample cohort Fall 2016-Fall 2019 had a statistically significant decreased difference in degree-applicable retention rates. The results of the analysis are inconclusive as to the positive effect on institutional retention and success rates. Historically the retention rate of this group of students is below that of all other groups. A collaborative mixed-methods study involving administrators, faculty, and students might produce different outcomes. There was a statistically significant difference in completion and transferable success rates. However, the results are inconclusive; it cannot be verified from this study that the Afrocentric learning community had a positive effect on student retention, success, and transferability rates in California in community colleges.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

African American college students -- California; Community College Students -- California; Intercultural communication in education -- California

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Ebony Cain