The Struggle Of African American Students

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Introduction This paper examines the struggle African American students are more likely to face at a predominantly white institution (PWIs) than at a historically black college or university (HBCUs). Each author has his or her own take on this hypothesis; most of the author’s studies suggest that African American students have a hard time adjusting to an environment at a PWI (Littleton 2003). However, African American students at HBCUs tend to be at ease with their learning environment. Though many of the author’s agree with one another there are other authors whose studies come to the conclusion that race is not a factor in college education anymore. That being the case on average African American population is approximately four percent at PWIs (Littleton 2003). Research reveals that African American students from both institutions are graduating college but not at the same level. Why is that? There are a number of reasons that African American are more likely to struggle at PWIs than HBCUs. The following factors include: background information, faculty involvement, connection with faculty, discrimination, and adapting to a new environment. These factors have an effect on GPAs, campus involvement, and graduation rates. Literature Review First we must look at backgrounds. A students’ environment can tell about how they are going to act in school, during an activity, and how they are going to work with the people surrounding them. According to Tinto, “The overall differences in persistence rates between African American students and non-minorities were primarily due to differences in their academic preparedness rather than differences in their socioeconomic backgrounds” (Tinto 1993; Baker, Robnett, and Torres 2012). These studi... ... middle of paper ... ...or example, all students of color are not African American, the students in this survey do not represent students everyone in the world, the students did not have to follow up after a nine year period, and female students took the survey more than male students. The female population is overly represented in this data set. There is a relationship between the independent and dependent because as African American enrollment increases at PWIs for a variety of reasons (Affirmative action, degree value and the price of schools), but students have a harder time getting adjusting to PWIs environment rather than a HBCUs environment. There are a lot of dependent variables that play a major role in this study. These dependent variables are GPA, graduations rates, feelings overall about the school, faculty student involvement, campus involvement, and high school experiences.
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