Black men: Factors for persistence to degree completion at a predominantly White public institution of higher education
Jones, Karen A
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This study was initiated as an attempt to examine the college experience of Black men who graduated from a predominantly White college. Long recognized as the pinnacle of educational institutions, American higher education was initially founded for the sole purpose of educating White men. With varying rates of participation, Black students are now attending predominantly White colleges with record numbers, surpassing the number of Black students attending HBCU's. In many respects, access to higher education is often equated with intellectual development and social mobility. It is in the bowels of academia where intellectual exchange takes place and where dreams are realized. It is also a place where Black men have often struggled to achieve academic success and degree completion. This exploratory study captured the collegiate experiences of Black men who attended Northwest Public College between 1968 and 1998 and successfully completed their degree and examined how, their experiences differed from those who did not graduate. This study was guided by the following four questions, "How do Black men who graduated from a four year, predominantly White, public, Northeast institution, describe their experiences, influences, and obstacles in relation to attending college? To what extent do their experiences differ from the experiences of those Black men who did not complete their degree? To what extent do the experiences of the older Black men who graduated from college compare or differ from the younger Black men who graduated from college? To what extent do the experiences of the older Black men who did not complete their degree compare and or differ from the younger Black men who did not complete their degree?" Reflecting on their experience, the participants were able to recall and recount strategies employed during their college experience, and discuss the strategies they used to complete their degree. Likewise, the experiences of those men who did not complete their degree are also examined as a means to determine what factors contributed to their unsuccessful departure. The findings of their experiences as Black men attending a predominantly White college are revealed as implications to further assist higher education practitioners with retention efforts.