Essay Example on Literature Review From Obtaining Access to Obtaining Success

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Literature Review From Obtaining Access to Obtaining Success African Americans have always recognized education as a powerful vessel for changing lives and communities From the infancy years of the United States African Americans were prohibited from obtaining an education Education in the 19th century for African Americans was prohibited A few higher education institutions such as Dartmouth College in 1824 and Oberlin College in 1833 began to provide an education for African American students Cohen 2009 However 20th century America introduced major landmarks for educational access and success of African Americans The decision of Brown vs the Board of Education of Topeka Kansas 1954 and the Civil Rights Movement 1955 68 sparked the movement for equal opportunity The US Supreme Court ruled in the Brown v Board of Education case 1954 that racial segregation in education was deemed unconstitutional Cohen 2009 Nevertheless the 21st century African Americans students are still facing barriers associated with financial and other factors in education Opportunity barriers involving student enrollment and completion of a higher education still prevalent for African American students Understanding the barriers that African American students are challenged with in seeking higher education degrees is a critical factor in making African American students aspirations a reality Retention Barriers Underprepared Students 




The successful enrollment and retention of African American and other minority students is one of the most vital needs in higher education African American students are still behind in graduation rates compared to other students Important factors contributing to attrition can be related to the integrating socially and academically finance issues lack of support from institutional and faculty members and underprepared academic students Alford 2000 An increasing numbers of s high students do not complete academically challenging courses that are essential for success in college usually is associated with low retention and graduation rates Kinzie Gonyea Shoup p 21 Academically and mentally minority students are not prepared enough to complete college level course Institutions have made important efforts to provide basic skill resource classes for African American students but these courses are available in traditional non engaging methods Wyatt 2011 Student Types Besides from being unprepared under matching is another barrier for minority students Under matching is when low income high achieving students enroll at less selective universities and colleges Under matching is another aspect of college access High achieving students from low income households usually do not select the best colleges in which they are qualified to attend Naylor 2002 Empirically most students are attracted to community and junior colleges instead of four year institutions Research showed that African American students view their experiences on campus and classroom environment is unsupportive and the reason for not maintaining enrollment until graduation Kinzie Gonyea Shoup Kuh 2008




If African American students feel separated from the dominant culture of the institution the chances of persistence is often time slim Institution Support Leadership issues is the common factor for the success of a campus wide retention rate Retention programs must have total support from the president or provost include involvement from the entire campus in creating program operations and keep all ideas focused on the student Increasing the retention rates of students is a difficult issue that involves of the entire campus Even though departments and offices execute their own programs it is important for the entire campus become unified in reducing attrition that can be noticed on a large scale Developing a program such as a Cross University Retention Task Force resounds a message of urgency as well as a message of administration support Swail 2002 Economic and Finances The significance of economic and financial factors on underrepresented minority student s commitment differs in terms of whether student loans correlate with degree completion for minority students in comparison to minority students who do not rely on loans Perna concluded that there was not an association among student loans and college persistence among minority students 2000 Cunningham and Santiago stated that minority students who received student loans had a greater probability of completing their college degree 2008 Moreover Cunningham and Santiago stated that African American students were more likely to use student loans to make sure that their educational opportunity can utilized 2008 However more than close to seventy percent of African American students who borrowed student loans do not attain a college degree Jackson Reynolds 2013 




First Generation College Students Statistics show that African American undergraduate students have the highest attrition rate in US higher education organizations Knapp 2010 Another researcher Pascarella 2004 asserted that the common characteristics shared by first generation college students make them more susceptible to attrition than non first generation students Bradburn stated that first generation college students were more susceptible to leaving a higher education institution than those students with college graduate parents 2002 


First generation low income African American college students are more likely than other students to become full time employed while attending college Engle 2007 These students are academically unprepared have to be enrolled remedial courses receive lower grades and fewer credits in their second year uninvolved in campus social life and do not build a rapport with professors Engle Tinto 2008




These factors identify the characteristics of the students who are challenged by barriers that may be the cause of attrition and low graduation rates Understanding the factors that are responsible for the barriers that result in attrition and low graduation rates is a vital step in increasing underrepresented minority retention in higher education Student Involvement Outnumbered underrepresented minority students enrolled in a predominately white institution may find it difficult to integrate into the mainstream student population on campus Underrepresented undergraduate minority students who are not socially connected in the learning environment are at risk of attrition or at risk of academically performing successfully However the most literature researching underrepresented undergraduate minority students states that their college experience was focused on the student's ability to become academically and socially involved




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