ERIC Number: EJ812144
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 25
Low Black Student Retention on a Predominantly White Campus: Two Faculty Respond with the African American Student Network
Grier-Reed, Tabitha L.; Madyun, Na'im H.; Buckley, Christopher G.
Journal of College Student Development, v49 n5 p476-485 Sep-Oct 2008
Black student retention in institutions of higher education is an important 21st-century issue. Thompson, Gorin, Obeidat, and Chen (2006) asserted that Blacks are still underrepresented in institutions of higher education and graduate at lower rates than Whites and Asians over a 5-year period. According to the American Council on Education, at the turn of the century only 40% of eligible Black students went to college, with only 46% of the 40% graduating within 6 years. At the authors' own university, a large Midwestern research institution, available data indicate that the 4-year graduation rate for even the highest ability students is approximately 25% higher for Whites than for Blacks. This public university serves more than 65,000 students, with 40,437 of those being undergraduates; Blacks make up 4.7% of the undergraduate population, and students of color comprise 17.3%. Considering Black undergraduates who enrolled in 1998, of those with the highest college entrance scores only about 25% graduated 4 years later, in 2002. In an effort to improve retention and graduation rates on the authors' campus, two Black faculty have responded with the African American Student Network, or as students call it AFAM (signifying African American and "A Family"). In this article, the authors share their response to the problem of retention at their university and explore Black student experiences. They include an overview of their program and a pilot study assessing the program's impact.
Descriptors: African American Students, Higher Education, Graduation Rate, Whites, School Holding Power, Academic Persistence, Disproportionate Representation, Racial Differences, Social Support Groups, Stress Variables, Racial Bias, Social Isolation, Student Attitudes, Student Adjustment, Cultural Influences, Personality Traits, Student Empowerment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A