Diverse Populations

This list of peer-reviewed articles is available to members of our University community and beyond as a resource on the national literature on retention. We are committed to maintaining this list and adding to it in the future. Please send recommendations of articles to include to pdecresc@umd.edu. For additional articles on encouraging student success, please visit Literature on Student Sucess.

The information below comes directly from the referenced book or article unless acknowledged otherwise.

Abstract/Points of Interest

Palmer, R.T., Wood, J.L., Dancy, E.T., Strayhorn, T.L. (2014). Black Male Collegians: Increasing Access, Retention, and Persistence in Higher Education. New Jersey: Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

This book provides a comprehensive synthesis and analysis of literature on factors promoting the access, retention, and persistence of Black men at diverse institutional types and delineates institutional policies, programs, practices, and other factors that encourage the success of Black men in postsecondary education.

Palmer, R.T., Wood, J.L., Dancy, E.T., Strayhorn, T.L. (2014). Factors Critical to the Access and Success of Black Men in Postsecondary Education. In Black Male Collegians: Increasing Access, Retention, and Persistence in Higher Education. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

The impact of TRIO programs, affirmative action, and college readiness (developmental education) on college access and success; Sense of belonging, campus climate, and student engagement; The role of financial support, spirituality, family support, and racial and masculine identity.

Harper, S. (2014). Black Men as College Athletes: The Real Win-Loss Record. The Chronicle of Higher Education, LX(19), A60.

Harper summarizes the suggestions made in the December 2013 report, "Black Male Student-Athletes and Racial Inequities in NCAA Division I Revenue-Generating College Sports" written by Collin D Williams Jr., Horatio W. Blackman, and Shaun Harper. He concluded that university leaders must demand transparency from athletics departments and offices of institutional research; coaches and athletics administrators should pay attention to the course enrollment and selection of majors by their black male athletes, as well as those students' participation in educational enriching programs such as study-abroad programs and summer internships; coaches and athletics administrators must also address the "dumb jock" stereotypes that plague black male student-athletes; and the university should assign faculty mentors or advocates from outside the athletics culture to increase academic engagement.

Harper, S. R. (2014). (Re)setting the agenda for college men of color: Lessons learned from a 15-year movement to improve Black male student success. In R. A. Williams (Ed.), Men of color in higher education: New foundations for developing models for success (pp. 116-143). Sterling, VA: Stylus.

"This chapter chronicles the 15-year emphasis on Black male students in U.S. higher education. It first catalogs a range of efforts enacted between 1997 and 2012, and then explores why Black male student enrollments, engagement, and degree attainment rates remained relatively unchanged. This examination of the shortcomings and shortsightedness of these efforts could prove instructive for educators and administrators who attempt to improve outcomes and development among college men of color." The authors suggest that future initiatives to increase student success be strategic (involving all levels of the institution), use anti-deficit language, acknowledge in-group diversity, and create a safe space for men of color to deconstruct their racial and gender identities.

Harris III, F., & Harper, S. R. (2014). Beyond bad behaving brothers: Productive performances of masculinities among college fraternity men. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 27(6), 703-723.

"Research on fraternity men focuses almost exclusively on problematic behaviors such as homophobia and sexism, alcohol abuse, violence against women, sexual promiscuity, and the overrepresentation of members among campus judicial offenders. Consequently, little is known about those who perform masculinities in healthy and productive ways. Presented in this article are findings from a qualitative study of productive masculinities and behaviors among 50 undergraduate fraternity men from 44 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Findings offer insights into participants’ steadfast commitments to the fraternity’s espoused values; their acceptance and appreciation of members from a range of diverse backgrounds; strategies they employed to address bad behaviors (including sexism, racism, and homophobia) among chapter brothers; and the conditions that enabled them to behave in ways that contradict stereotypes concerning men in collegiate fraternities."

Bush, E. C., & Bush, L. (2010). Calling out the elephant: An examination of African American male achievement in community colleges. Journal of African American Males in Education, 1(1), 40-62.

"The mixed method study examines the effects of community college institutional factors on the academic achievement of African American males and their perceptions of their college experience. We found that African American men in comparison to other ethnic and gender sub-groups (for both the California community college system and at Inland Community College) are disproportionately underachieving in all segments of the academic outcomes measured." The analysis suggest that African American men are less likely to engage with the college and more likely not to have contact with faculty outside the classroom. "...faculty interaction predicted if African American male students persisted, transferred, and maintained a higher grade point average at the case study institution."

Davis, R. J., & Palmer, R. T. (2010). The role of postsecondary remediation for African American students: A review of research. The Journal of Negro Education, 79(4), 503-520.

"This review of research first explains why African American students are disproportionately underprepared for college level work. Then, the authors summarize the debates concerning the role of remediation in higher education, synthesize the research on the effectiveness of postsecondary remediation, and discuss major and recent policy enactments." The authors cited Bettinger and Long (2007) who found that "students who enrolled in college remedial courses were more likely to transfer to a four-year institution and complete a bachelor's degree." Other studies have noted that if you take two or more remedial courses it can hurt retention. Studies that found remediation to have no or little impact on completion and student persistence, focus on African American students who require two or more remedial courses. The literature review found that remedial education creates greater access to an institution and it is believed that if implemented well can increase retention. There are other ways to get at remedial education. In 2008, Florida passed a bill that "requires community colleges to supply high school teachers with the types of curriculum used in remedial courses at the two-year college level to ensure greater alignment between secondary and post-secondary education." States and state higher education systems should do the research and evaluation necessary before eliminating or reducing it from four-year institutions.

Fries-Britt, S. & Griffin, K. (2007) The Black Box: How High-Achieving Blacks Resist Stereotypes About Black Americans. Journal of College Student Development, Volume 48, Number 5, pp. 509-524.

"This qualitative study explores the academic and social experiences of nine Black high achievers attending a large public university. Findings indicate that despite their participation in the honors program and high degree of academic ability, Black high achievers felt that they were judged based on prevalent social stereotypes regarding the academic abilities of Black students. These external perceptions pushed students to engage in various behaviors and actively resist stereotypes with their behaviors both in and outside of classroom."

Griffin, K. (2006). Striving for Success: A Qualitative Exploration of Competing Theories of High-Achieving Black College Students' Academic Motivation. Journal of College Student Development, Volume 47, Number 4, pp. 384-400.

"Research on the academic performance of Black students has focused on low-achievers, framing their academic motivation as maladaptive and driven by externally (e.g., competition or compliance) rather than internally (e.g., love of learning) generated forces. This qualitative study challenges this mono-dimensional deficit framework, examining the motivation of nine Black high-achievers attending a large public university. Findings show that self-determination theory, socio-cognitive theory, and attribution theory cannot individually explain the motivation of these Black high-achievers. Instead, a multidimensional framework that incorporates all three models and that highlights internal and external sources of motivation best accounts for these students' experiences."

Aronson, J., Fried, C. B., & Good, C. (2002). Reducing the Effects of Stereotype Threat on African American College Students by Shaping Theories of Intelligence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38, 113-125.

"In this experiment, White and Black students were assigned to one of three conditions to assess the impact of an intervention designed to reduce stereotype threat. In two conditions, students were asked to write a letter of encouragement to a younger student who was experiencing academic struggles. In one of these conditions, students were prompted to endorse a view of intelligence as malleable, "like a muscle" that can grow with work and effort. In the second condition, students endorsed the view that there exists different types of intelligence. The third condition served as a control condition in which students were not asked to compose a letter. Several days after the intervention, all students were asked to indicate their identification with and enjoyment of academics. Results showed that Black students in particular were more likely to report enjoying and valuing education if they had written a letter endorsing malleable intelligence. In addition, grades collected 9 weeks following the intervention were significantly higher for Blacks in the malleable intelligence condition. Whites showed a similar, though statistically marginal, effect. This study showed that encouraging students to see intelligence as malleable (i.e., embrace an incremental theory of intelligence) can raise enjoyment and performance in academic contexts."

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