Research Studies in Higher Education: Educating Multicultural College Students: Issues in Black Education Series

By Baylor, Rhonda Erica | The Journal of Negro Education, Summer 2013 | Go to article overview

Research Studies in Higher Education: Educating Multicultural College Students: Issues in Black Education Series


Baylor, Rhonda Erica, The Journal of Negro Education


Research Studies in Higher Education: Educating Multicultural College Students: Issues in Black Education Series, edited by Terence Hicks and Abul Pitre. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2012, 284 pp., $37.95, paperback.

Reviewed by Rhonda Erica Baylor, University of the District of Columbia Community College.

Research Studies in Higher Education: Educating Multicultural College Students is a compilation of nine research studies that examine how to effectively educate minority students matriculating through higher education institutions. Author Terrence Hicks is a scholar who currently teaches at Fayetteville State University and author Abul Pitre is the Chair of Leadership Studies at North Carolina A&T State University. Both seem to have a sentient understanding of issues that minority students must navigate while studying at universities and colleges. The authors not only identify the challenges that minority students face, but they also provide data and information on factors that contribute to collegiate success of multicultural students. Hicks and Pitre join a diminutive league of contemporary education researchers who examine high performing minority students. They declare that "to produce excellence, you must study excellence" (p. 29).

The first four chapters of the book consist of qualitative research studies that examine the education process of students of color. Chapters 5,6, and 7 consist of a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research studies about first-generation college students. Chapters 8 and 9 are quantitative research studies about undecided and non-traditional college students. Since most of the studies are qualitative, much of the data were collected during student focus groups and interviews; thus, this book is rich with collegiate student voices. This method is a strength of the text because few research studies gather data from student themselves. Another strength of this book is that it contains practical, implementable recommendations based on the collected data. College administrators, faculty members, and students may benefit from reading this work. Across the nine studies, it is clear that student self-efficacy and academic preparation contribute to the persistence and retention rates of multicultural students at higher education institutions.

Student affective disposition is one of the least studied predictors of academic success; yet, data from various standardized tests show a correlation between how students feel about their aptitude and their academic performance. Upon completing a synthesis of the research studies presented in this text, it is clear that student self-efficacy has an effect on academic performance. Perhaps, since there is no index to measure confidence, researchers tend not to use this non-cognitive factor in education empirical studies. Emerging research, however, draws connections between the two as this text does. The combined research studies in this text clearly indicate that students of color must navigate through their self-efficacy feelings to perform well in college. In her book, The Pedagogy of Confidence, Dr. Yvette Jackson corroborates this finding by writing that confidence is not only a feeling but it is also neurologically connected to performance: "When feelings of competence are increased, fewer catecholamines (the body's natural chemical response to stress,! are released" (Jackson, 2012, p. 9). Furthermore, authors of the research studies included in this text convey the message that self-efficacy beliefs are blended with other sociocognitive factors that together regulate human behavior

Hicks and Pitre discuss that many of the students who expressed having low confidence also reported feeling no sense of belonging at their respective higher education institutions. …

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