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Student Involvement & Academic Outcomes

Implications for Diverse College Student Populations

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Edited By Donald Jr. Mitchell, Krista M. Soria, Elizabeth A. Daniele and John A. Gipson

Student Involvement and Academic Outcomes links student involvement to tangible academic outcomes (i.e., GPAs, retention rates, graduation rates). This is particularly important for diverse student populations (e.g., underrepresented minority, first-generation college, and low-income students) who now make up a significant portion (and will soon become the majority) of U.S. college students. The text is a valuable tool for higher education administrators, faculty, staff, graduate students, parents, students, and scholars alike. In addition, the volume is ideal for master’s and doctoral programs in higher education and student affairs-related fields and for courses that examine issues/experiences associated with diverse U.S. college students, student affairs intervention strategies, racial and ethnic diversity in higher education, and critical/contemporary issues in higher education.
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Chapter Four: National Survey of Student Engagement Findings at a Historically Black Institution: Does Student Engagement Impact Persistence?

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CHAPTER FOUR

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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