ERIC Number: ED201255
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Admission and Retention Problems of Black Students at Seven Predominantly White Universities.
Smith, Donald H.
A study of admission and retention problems for black undergraduate students in seven predominantly white universities was commissioned to identify the principal problems, propose program alternatives to promote retention and graduation, and make recommendations about the responsibilities of the institutions in assuring access and graduation opportunities. Private and public universities were chosen in four major U.S. regions: South, East, Midwest, and West. Administrators, faculty, and black students (including leaders of black organizations) were interviewed. Interviews covered such areas as admissions and attrition, the social and academic milieus, race relations, and relations with black faculty and administrators. Results of interviews and questionnaire responses indicate that poor academic preparation in secondary schools is the main barrier to access to higher education in these institutions, yet several of them are considering raising entrance requirements. A tendency was found in two private universities to accept only the most "socially acceptable" black students, excluding the economically disadvantaged. Attrition rates vary significantly among the institutions studied, but at all of them attrition appears to be rooted in the poor quality of black student life, characterized by hostility toward blacks. Conflicting messages from policy and practice are felt by these students, and similar conflicts are felt among black students themselves. Students feel black administrators are not sufficiently concerned with their welfare. Substantial changes in admission, recruitment, financial aid, academic assistance, orientation, counseling, and student life policies and practices are recommended to support the black student community and interactions with whites. Appended is a list of further resources. (MSE)
Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Access to Education, Administrator Attitudes, Admission Criteria, Black Students, Black Teachers, College Environment, College Preparation, Higher Education, Private Colleges, State Universities, Student Adjustment, Student Attrition, Teacher Attitudes
National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education and Black Colleges and Universities, 1100 17th St., N.W., Suite 702-6, Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Advisory Committee on Black Higher Education and Black Colleges and Universities (DHEW), Washington, DC.