College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-9-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Susan McMahon, PhD

Second Advisor

Christine Reyna, PhD


The current negative sociopolitical climate has impacted students on college campuses throughout the nation. Literature suggests campus racial climate is a risk factor for negative student outcomes. Using resiliency theory and the protective resilience model, this study examines the effects of campus racial climate and mentoring on school experiences and academic outcomes in 247 college freshmen. This study utilizes linear regression to examine the relationship between racial climate perception and mentoring on student outcomes (e.g., sense of belonging, school engagement, and grade point average at graduation) and uses moderated linear regression to determine if the presence of a new mentor moderates the relationship between first year negative racial climate perception and student outcomes. Findings from this study suggest a negative racial climate perception in the first year is associated with lower belonging, higher engagement, and lower GPA during the first year. Longitudinal assessment revealed first year negative racial climate perception predicted GPA at graduation. The presence of a new on-campus mentor during one’s first year of college was positively associated with higher belonging and engagement in the first year but did not have any significant association with GPA in year one or at graduation. A new mentor in the first year did not emerge as a moderator for negative racial climate in the first year for student outcomes in the third year or graduation. The importance of racial climate perception during the transition year and its impact on graduation GPA as well as the role of mentoring support are discussed alongside implications for research, practice, and policy.

SLP Collection


Included in

Psychology Commons