Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


An Examination of Involvement Behaviors and Minority Student Retention at Academic Medical Institutions

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Judy Jackson May, PhD

Second Advisor

Rodney M. Gabel, PhD (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Ronald D. Opp, PhD (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Patrick D. Pauken, PhD (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Rachel A. Vannatta, PhD (Committee Member)


The purpose of this correlational research study was to examine if student and institutional characteristics as well as involvement factors influence minority medical students' intent to remain and which factors best predict the intent to remain at their academic medical institution (AMI). The online, 26-item Minority Medical Student Retention Questionnaire was administered to the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) students and assessed if the independent variables defined as student background characteristics and environment institutional characteristics (variables occurring between AMIs, variables occurring within AMIs, and intermediate educational outcomes) as well as student-to-faculty, student-to-student, and student-to-student group affiliation involvement factors predict intent to remain. Likert scales, time frame options, drop down options, and open-ended answer options were utilized. Of the 3,024 SNMA members solicited for a response, 317 individuals completed surveys and were utilized, demonstrating a response rate of 10.5%. Astin's involvement theory provided the study's theoretical framework and Astin's Input-Environment-Output corresponding model was used. Descriptive statistics and a stepwise multiple regression analysis were employed to determine the results of this study. Significant factors predicting intent to remain included the student characteristic of African American cultural background, the intermediate educational outcome of satisfaction with the overall AMI experience, and two combined variables of how often faculty provided medical program guidance and how often students sought a staff mentor. Further regression analysis revealed the best predictor for the student's intent to remain included the two combined variables of chances of satisfaction with the current overall satisfaction with overall AMI experience. Conclusions drawn from these findings lead to further questions concerning variable definitions. Surveying minority medical students throughout their medical school experience and allowing minority medical students to define their own satisfaction will help foster discussion and a positive medical school experience. By increasing satisfaction levels and the intent to remain of minority medical students, the number of minority physicians will increase ultimately positively affecting the health care of the Nation. The researcher provides further discussions and recommendations to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the SNMA, and AMI senior administrators, faculty, and staff.