Underserved Populations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Volume 21

Cover of Underserved Populations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The Pathway to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Subject:

Table of contents

(18 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xiii
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Abstract

In this chapter, the editors provide a reflective anecdote describing the professional and personal journey which led to the production of the current volume. The chapter presents the aim and scope of the text, chapter descriptions, and the overall goal of the text which includes facilitating conversations around how historically Black colleges or universities (HBCUs) might best support underserved populations of students and faculty.

Abstract

Considering the rising number of first generation college students (FGCSs), an increased number of first generation college graduates should be expected. Historically Black Colleges and Universities have long served as a landing place for these students. While research has focused on the barriers to access and persistence for this population, there has been little discussion about the FGCSs that attend college, obtain degrees, and go on to serve in their disciplines and contribute to their communities. Having been a FGCS, now serving as a tenure-track faculty member at a Historically Black institution, I have been compelled to explore and initiate a dialog regarding the experience of being, First, still. “It” does not end with degree completion.

Abstract

As historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) endeavor to establish niches in the higher education marketplace, we see a surfeit of HBCU executives, administrators, alumni, faculty, and student voices leading the public discourse about how twenty-first century solutions are being sought to serve the needs of an increasingly ethnically and culturally diverse educational sector. Journalistic missives and research produced in academia examine and often define HBCUs struggling to garner federal/external research dollars, struggling to attract, engage, and support diverse student populations, lacking innovation, failing to promote and foster cooperation and interdisciplinarity, and failing to promote esprit de corps among faculty. These missives are often the result of externally produced news stories which permeate because of a lack of engagement among traditional media outlets and journalists with “on-the-ground” thought leaders working with HBCU students and students themselves.

Featuring the collaborative efforts of racially diverse faculty from multiple disciplines, producing research and providing service to racially, culturally, and geographically diverse students, the student service-based research project discussed in the chapter aims to provide differential academic and employment-support services to transition HBCU students with learning disabilities leading to improved college completion and employment outcome by emphasizing cooperation in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. Further, it accomplishes something equally critical to its research-based outcomes – a model of collaboration and cooperation other HBCUs should seek to replicate for the sake of its students, faculty, and institutional reputations.

The program described in this chapter is just one example of programs that serve students and exemplify the mission of HBCUs, while demonstrating innovation, collaboration, and leadership, that creates an opportunity to counter-narrate pernicious stereotypes about HBCUs. The federally-funded, innovative student services/success program I examine in this chapter – a collaborative, multidepartment, and interdisciplinary program emphasizing cooperative learning at a southern flagship HBCU – challenges these pernicious narratives head on. Raising attention and awareness of the program’s existence is important not only to highlight the university’s attempts to promote student success, but is also another clarion call for HBCUs to do all within their power to promote their own successes at attracting, retaining, and promoting students’ success while finding creative ways to develop faculty and promote interdisciplinarity and collaboration. Doing so benefits all HBCU students regardless of their race, cultural affinities, or level of preparedness for college, and benefits all faculty, be they in the much-vaunted science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields or often lesser-valued, but equally crucial fields in the humanities, education, and the arts.

Abstract

The function for the historically Black college and university (HBCU) has always been a hallmark of resolve educational inclusion and justice to promote the Negro identity, and develop social and economic mobility. Yet despite diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) determinations popular today, the authors contend that to cater to subpopulations outside of the Black community creates a marginalization and distraction from their historic purpose and legacy. As a necessary function of relevance, the focus of underserved populations on HBCU campuses should, instead, unwaveringly remain on African-Americans, descendants of slaves (DoS). We empirically examine HBCU academic curricula for African-American consciousness that is forward thinking for community advocacy and social justice. Research findings of HBCU course catalogs (N = 98) describe a very limited scope of course titles and descriptions that appear to cultivate intellectual tools to engage in racial and ethnic self-advocacy as a vital role for continued survival. The authors contend that the relevance of HBCU institutions cannot be fully realized and promoted absent a comprehensive understanding of the educational and socioeconomic status of the African-American population. Discussed are the implications and recommendations of how HBCUs will be able to retain their uniqueness and viability of purpose, including the application of social reconstructive theory in practice, as a theoretical framework.

Abstract

When examining the need to increase student retention and persistence at universities, one must consider how leveraging community partnerships can assist institutions of higher education realize success that they may have not thought otherwise possible.

Additionally, individuals must look at the number of high school students who have not seen college as a viable option for them given the absence of tangible models in their homes. Creating a strong mentoring program that incorporates the expertise of community stakeholders with personal experiences of current successful college students offers a viable solution. This chapter will cover the success of the “Placing Opportunities Within Everyone’s Reach” (POWER) mentoring program developed at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the South and its long-term impact on students.

Abstract

Although established for the purpose of educating Black Americans, recently, many HBCUs have been witness to a steady increase of White students (Shorette II & Arroyo, 2015). And, with projections that non-Black student enrollment will continue to increase at HBCUs (Palmer, Shorette II, & Gasman, 2015), strategies for supporting the changing demographics are needed. This chapter presents selected findings from a larger quantitative investigation examining the impact of faculty–student engagement on the experiences and perceived persistence, or belief that one will complete a doctoral program, of White doctoral students at HBCUs. Results indicated external engagement, i.e., social components for student success external to a student’s academic program and research practices, was a best predictor for optimal experiences and increased belief in self for program completion. Directions for future research and practice are offered.

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Abstract

This chapter discusses religious diversity and the religious minority student on the HBCU campus. The author discusses existing literature and research on religious minority college students and the challenges and experiences of religious minorities on campus. The primary purpose of this chapter is to improve HBCU practitioners’ abilities to promote religious pluralism and tolerance of all faiths. Student affairs practitioners must first have a fundamental understanding of who is a religious minority.

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Abstract

I recently completed my first year as an adjunct instructor at a university with an historic mission to educate African-Americans. I am a Caucasian woman with a healthy southern accent and an obvious difference between my skin color and that of the majority of my students. As I began my journey at one of the nation’s most recognized historically Black universities, I had no idea that this would be the most professionally rewarding experience of my life. I was nervous about serving mostly students of color, particularly since most of my students during my 13 years of teaching, were Caucasian females from middle-class backgrounds. I had a strong desire to create an educational experience that would be culturally significant to students. In order to do this, I had to reflect on my own experiences and identify how these experiences shaped my own perceptions about the cultures represented in my classroom. I began by creating a warm, welcoming classroom environment where students could share their cultural beliefs, customs, and traditions regardless of their ethnicity. Throughout the year I demonstrated care, concern, and respect for my students, emphasizing cooperation and shared responsibility. What I realized along the way was that even though my ethnicity was different from the majority of my students, we shared many common values, characteristics, and behaviours, shaping our own identity as members of the educational community.

Abstract

Since the mid-1800s, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been educating a majority of Black Americans. These 105 institutions serve more than 300,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from diverse backgrounds, various socio economic levels, and academic achievement levels. And, it is important that they continue on this challenging journey of addressing the unique needs of the HBCU student by becoming more efficient and focused on their program offerings with minimal state support and shrinking federal funding. Further, systems mandates, board governance, affirmative action, and civil unrest oftentimes camouflage the historic role of the HBCU. Questions arise as to the relevance of these historic institutions when the student, faculty, and staff demographics begin to shift in an effort to compete for the quality and quantity of students enrolling at majority institutions. It is imperative that we continue having crucial conversations surrounding the essence of this challenge. Diversity is our strength and a reality that should not be ignored. What better institution to exemplify inclusive excellence than a HBCU? This chapter will address how these historic institutions can continue to celebrate their legacy while embracing the rich dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Abstract

Post-secondary institutions are at a crossroads. Students from various marginalized communities are increasingly encountering hostile environments. Fortunately, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) offer students safe spaces to deconstruct vital issues. However, they have struggled to keep pace with other colleges and universities committed to supporting LGBTQ students. As a result, LGBTQ students feel isolated and abandoned because of conservative ideas rooted in heteronormativity. This chapter will explore: (1) findings from a study that examined the perceptions and attitudes of undergraduate students from a public HBCU regarding the LGBTQ community; (2) how conservative tenets impacts LGBTQ students’ experiences; and (3) university support systems for LGBTQ students. In addition, the chapter includes recommendations and implications for HBCU administrators.

Abstract

While the Afrocentric Worldview is established with elements of interdependence, communalism, and kinship at its foundation, many Afro (of African-descent) and African-American scholars within social science/helping-fields, such as psychology, have come to view “alternative” sexual orientations (i.e., homosexuality or bisexuality) as functional or dysfunctional solutions to problems existing in Black America. Afrocentric Worldviews include key concepts of racial and cultural survival thrusts. We must examine the marginalized subgroup of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals navigating through higher education, especially those within the Afrocentric-driven fields, such as psychology, at a Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs). This chapter discusses (1) several theoretical concepts that guide driving philosophies and academic curricula, (2) possible ramifications and experiences Black LGBTQ scholars face as they navigate through such educational contexts and (3) possible stances gay and straight scholars may take when operating under a paradigm/worldview with views that may seem counter to “alternative” sexual orientations.

Abstract

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have a long history of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As we move through the twenty-first century, the color lines of persons working at and attending them is changing, creating a caramelizing of HBCUs. Therefore, this chapter identifies the challenges associated with the growing number of non-Black students and faculty at HBCUs. Furthermore, it uses the notion of “othermothering” to address those issues via ethic of care, advancement of culture, and guardian of the institute. Strategies include same- and other-race mentoring, service-learning projects, safe places for racial identity development, the divine nine, homecoming and bowl game awareness, autoethnography, HBCU e-learning series, and teaching support for teaching diverse student learners.

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the presence and accomplishments of Black women across the leadership spectrum within the context of historically Black colleges and universities.

Abstract

The purpose of the chapter is to develop a typology of bad behaviors characteristic of governing boards and to compare the bad behaviors identified in the typology to the governing boards’ expected roles and responsibilities. Several examples of bad governing board behaviors that have occurred at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are explored through the lens of the typology. The author argues that the bad behavior of governing boards responsible for the nations’ HBCUs inhibits strategic planning, undermines growth and development, and threatens the long-term viability of these institutions. Finally, recommendations intended to minimize the impact of bad board behaviors are proposed.

What’s Next?

Pages 239-241
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Epilogue

Pages 243-244
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Index

Pages 245-251
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Cover of Underserved Populations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
DOI
10.1108/S1479-3644201821
Publication date
2018-11-12
Book series
Diversity in Higher Education
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78754-841-1
eISBN
978-1-78754-840-4
Book series ISSN
1479-3644