Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ed.D.)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Joan Birringer-Haig

Second Advisor

Stephen Kotok

Third Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther


This study investigated how implicit racial bias influences the perceptions of students of African descent in predominately White colleges (PWIs) in the United States (U.S.). The theoretical framework for the study is critical race theory (CRT). CRT challenges racial indifference by exposing how racial advances often come at the cost of promoting or feeding into White self-interests (Patton et al., 2007). This non-experimental quantitative study examined how GPA, the number of credits earned, gender, race, and campus culture impact students of African descent’s perceptions of culturally implicit racial bias. It used Asian, Hispanic, and White students as a comparison group. Implicit racial bias is a suggestive and sometimes unconscious slight leveled against minoritized groups. The study examined three academic institutions in a large metropolitan area in the northeastern U.S. The researcher created an instrument called the Implicit Racial Bias Higher Ed Questionnaire (IRBHEQ), specifically targeting and quantifying perceptions of implicit bias among students of African descent. The research employed a series of ANOVA and Regression tests. The statistically significant results indicated that the more heightened a student’s perception scores of implicit racial bias, the higher their GPA. These findings also suggest that students who identified as Other in the gender category had higher perception scores. The implications of the study were that colleges and universities should employ an asset-based approach to education and provide professional development for faculty, staff, and students.