Deconstructing Black Masculinity through a Life Span Continuum
Chapter One: First-Year Experience: Engaging and Supporting Millennial Black Males During the First Year of College
PATRICK E. TURNER
A persisting challenge facing many postsecondary institutions in the United States is the retention of Millennial Black males during their first year of college. Millennials are categorized as those individuals born between the years of 1982 and 2002 (Rickes, 2009). In 2003–2004, 16% of freshman students that enrolled in a U.S. postsecondary education institution in 2003 left the institution without completing a degree or certificate by 2004 (Ross et al., 2012). Black males accounted for a quarter of that percentage. Additionally, less than a third of freshman Black males enrolled in a four-year college will graduate with a degree within six years (Schmidt, 2008). Though Black males enter postsecondary institutions with higher aspirations and initial engagement, when compared to other races and ethnic groups, this population of students is less likely to academically persist or reach their goals (Mangan, 2014). Unfortunately, Black males lose that initial excitement about the educational experience and eventually become unmotivated, disengaged, and discouraged (Mangan, 2014). The motivation or lack thereof to persist academically directly impacts retention, degree obtainment, future career opportunities, income earning potential, and marketability (Palmer & Young, 2009).
Since the 1980s, research data has indicated a marginal increase in the college enrollment of Millennial Black males but the data can be misleading without a broader and expansive understanding (Frierson, Pearson, & Wyche, 2009; Palmer, 2009). There is reason to applaud the slight increase in college enrollment, yet Black ← 5 | 6 → males...
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