African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice

By Kassie Freeman | Go to book overview

The second phenomenon that needs greater understanding is African Americans' psychological barriers. There is already a great deal of research on school factors and financial aid and how they affect the college choice process. However, if it is the case that individuals act on what they perceive and not necessarily what research suggests, before models can be developed that will appreciably increase African Americans' participation in higher education, or other academic programs for that matter, how students feel has to be taken into account. Also, hearing African American students' interpretations of their realities is critical. That is, programs, in the long run, will not be successful if subjects have no voice or stake in the direction of their own lives.

Overall, research has indicated, and continues to indicate, that there are missing links between what the data tell us and what African Americans do, particularly in relation to whether or not to participate in higher education. In order to continue to increase African Americans' participation in higher education, programs must be culture-specific. As Ogbu ( 1988) has indicated, the historical and structural aspects of a culture have to be considered. Each culture has a different frame of reference; therefore, understanding how different groups give meaning to their realities is crucial to the success of any program development.


REFERENCES

Alexander K., D'Amico R., Fennessey J., & McDill E. ( 1978). Status composition and educational goals: An attempt at clarification. Report 244. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organizations of Schools.

Alwin D. F., & Otto L. B. ( 1977, October). "High school context effects on aspiration". Sociology of Education, 50, 259-273.

Anderson M., & Hearn J., ( 1992). "Equity issues in higher education outcomes". In W. E. Becker & D. R. Lewis (Eds.), The economics of American higher education (pp. 301-334). Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic.

Barnes A. S. ( 1992). Retention of African American males in high school. New York: University Press of America.

Becker G. S. ( 1975). Human capital ( 2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.

Billingsley A. ( 1992). Climbing Jacob's ladder: The enduring legacy ofAfrican-American families. New York: Simon & Schuster.

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Boyle R. ( 1966). "The effect of the high school on students' aspirations". The American Journal of Sociology, 6, 628-639.

Carnoy M. ( 1995). Faded dreams: The politics and economics of race in America. New York: University of Cambridge Press.

Carter D., & Wilson R. (Eds.). ( 1993). Status on minorities in higher education. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

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Carter D., & Wilson R. (Eds.). ( 1995). Status on minorities in higher education. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.

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