Contextual Predictors of BIPOC Students’ College Experience at a PWI: A S-BIT of Work Perspective

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Contextual Predictors of BIPOC Students’ College Experience at a PWI: A S-BIT of Work Perspective

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Objectives: Utilizing the theoretical framework of the Strengths-Based Inclusive Theory of Work (S-BIT of Work), the purpose of this study was to assess the relationships among contextual factors, the college setting, and positive individual characteristics amongst BIPOC college students. Specifically, discrimination, institutionalized classism (contextual variables), supportive university environment, cultural congruity (promotive work/educational context variables), hope, strengths use, and empowerment (individual positive characteristics) were examined. Participants: 98 adult college students from a predominately White 4-year institution in the Midwest (United States) who identified as BIPOC were recruited for this study. Method: Participants were recruited via three recruitment methods: emails to student clubs, organizations, and offices; extra credit offered by psychology faculty; and the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Psychology Research Pool (SONA). Participants completed validated measures for each variable previously noted. Participants were either entered into a drawing for one of 74 $25 gift cards, if desired, offered extra credit in a psychology course, or offered SONA credit depending on the recruitment method. Results: Path analysis was used to evaluate the theoretical model. Discrimination significantly and negatively predicted supportive university environment and cultural congruity. Also, results approached significance between institutionalized classism and hope, with a negative relationship. Results suggest that contextual barriers BIPOC students experience negatively relate to their perceptions of their environment, and these barriers may negatively relate to students’ goal-setting ability (i.e., hope).


A Plan B Research Project submitted to the faculty of University of Minnesota, Duluth by Hope Elizabeth Lindenfelser in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts, May 2024. This item has been modified from the original to redact the signature present.

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This project was internally funded by the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Psychology Department.

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