Implications for Diverse College Student Populations
Edited By Donald Jr. Mitchell, Krista M. Soria, Elizabeth A. Daniele and John A. Gipson
Chapter Four: National Survey of Student Engagement Findings at a Historically Black Institution: Does Student Engagement Impact Persistence?
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National Survey OF Student Engagement Findings AT A Historically Black Institution
Does Student Engagement Impact Persistence?
MONDRAIL MYRICK, D. JASON DESOUSA AND DONALD MITCHELL JR.
How can historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) improve student degree completion rates? To the credit of HBCUs, many students who otherwise would not have had an opportunity for college access and success have enrolled and graduated with degrees. In practical numbers, HBCU enrollment increased from 223,000 to 324,000, or by 45%, between 1976 and 2011 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2011). Today, HBCUs enroll 9% of all African American men and women in American higher education, although they continue to enroll diverse populations. In spite of the increase in college-going rates, fall-to-fall retention, and six-year graduation rates, students at HBCUs lag noticeably behind students attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs). This may not be surprising given HBCUs commitment to access and success of underserved populations and students with diverse learning styles, backgrounds, talents, and learning differences.
The changing landscape of American higher education presents formidable challenges for many HBCUs, including increased competition in the market, especially from proprietary schools; decreased and rigid federal financial assistance, particularly firmer Parent Plus Loan requirements; and heightened measures of institutional accountability, primarily manifested through accreditation standards. ← 57 | 58 → In fact, state and federal governments are increasingly mandating that colleges and universities improve the effectiveness of institutional stewardship of resources while...
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