Black Men in College: Implications for HBCUs and Beyond

Black Men in College: Implications for HBCUs and Beyond

Black Men in College: Implications for HBCUs and Beyond

Black Men in College: Implications for HBCUs and Beyond

Synopsis

Black Men in College provides vital information about how to effectively support, retain, and graduate Black male undergraduates. This edited collection centers on the notion that Black male collegians are not a homogenous group; rather, they are representative of rarely acknowledged differences that exist among them. This valuable text suggests that understanding these differences is critical to making true in-roads in serving Black men. Chapter contributors describe the diverse challenges Black men in HBCUs face and discuss how to support and retain high-achieving men, gay men, academically unprepared men, low-income men, men in STEM, American immigrants, millennials, collegiate fathers, those affiliated with Greek organizations, and athletes. Recommendations for policy and practice to encourage retention and persistence to degree completion are grounded in extant theory and research. This text is a must-read for all higher education faculty, researchers, and student affairs practitioners interested in addressing the contemporary college experiences of Black men in postsecondary institutions.

Excerpt

Access to college by Black students has lagged behind that of White students since the inception of higher education in this country. The upturn in admission of Black students to predominantly White institutions (PWIs) that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s was matched by increased study of the issues related to this deficiency. However, much of the earlier discussion articulated only the problems and failed to focus adequately on their solutions. Fortunately, more recent research and writing on Black student college attendance has included discussion on how to resolve many of these issues confronting students and how to help those students achieve tangible results in college completion.

One other issue that, thankfully, has shown some evolution over the past 20 years of writing on Black student college attendance is the recognition of subpopulations in the community of Black college students. In the mid-1990s, I started asking for the disaggregation of data on Black college students and its interpretation to show how Black men and Black women college students differ in perceptions, performance, and interests. Other scholars have also voiced that concern and have also called for an extension of the disaggregation of student information and research based on those data to include other characteristics besides gender. That message continues to go forth to the higher education community as an important part of the effort to aid Black students’ matriculation.

Carrying this idea a step further, researchers have begun to further disaggregate the study of Black male college students in particular. As Strayhorn and Scott state in chapter 3 of this book, “much of what has been written about Black men in higher education treats them as a monolithic group whose experiences are much more similar than different. Yet a growing body of research indicates that ‘they are not all the same’.” Happily, the study of Black men . . .

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