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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 Five: A Grounded Theory of the Influence of Black Greek-lettered Organizations on the Persistence of African Americans at aPredominantly White Institution

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CHAPTER FIVE

A Grounded Theory OF THE Influence OF Black Greek-lettered Organizations ON THE Persistence OF African Americans AT A Predominantly White Institution

DONALD MITCHELL JR.



For decades, scholars have documented that predominantly White institutions (PWIs) are not fully meeting the needs of African American students, as these students have reported social isolation, discrimination, and low social integration (Feagin, Vera, & Imani, 1996; Fleming, 1984; Harper, 2013). While the experiences of African American students at PWIs have been well documented, further research on best practices to retain and graduate African American students at PWIs is needed. One particular area where further research is merited concerns African Americans’ involvement in Black Greek-lettered organizations (BGLOs). Studies have documented the effects of BGLOs on African American students’ experiences at PWIs, particularly in the areas of social support, engagement, and leadership development (Harper, 2008a; Kimbrough, 1995; Kimbrough & Hutcheson, 1998; McClure, 2006; Patton, Bridges, & Flowers, 2011). Still, scholarship on BGLOs and academic outcomes warrants further attention given the many challenges African American students continue to encounter in pursuit of higher education. ← 75 | 76 →

There are nine college BGLOs (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.; and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.). Founded from 1906 to 1963, college...

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