African American Rural Education: Volume 7

Cover of African American Rural Education

College Transitions and Postsecondary Experiences

Table of contents

(16 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xvi
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Abstract

The educational attainment of rural people differs considerably based upon peoples' races and ethnicities. For example, in 2015 twice as many White rural adults had a bachelor's degree or higher compared to Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Hispanic or Latino rural adults. Within higher education contexts if one is to understand college students and their experiences, a recognition of students' identities is necessary. For African American college students from rural areas, I argue a starting point for understanding these students and their experiences in college environments is an exploration of the intersection of their place-based and race/ethnicity-based identities. This chapter, therefore, provides statistics about the educational attainment of rural people, reviews rural place–based identity literature, and then integrates perceptions of place with perceptions of race and ethnicity. Based on this discussion, recommendations for future pedagogies, practices, and research are suggested for faculty, staff, and scholars.

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Secondary Education Pathways

Abstract

In this study, I examined the psychosocial factors of habitus and cultural capital, that rural African American students employ to persist and enroll in college after high school. The purpose of this quantitative inquiry was to gain insights from a rural, Title I, and predominantly African American high school and its influence on students' postsecondary education and how educational preparation programs can provide support to create more equitable outcomes through programs and practice in K-12 settings similar to the school studied. This study used the Survey of Attitudes and Belief (Nora, 2004) to determine the significance of the relationships between the habitus (a student's values and belief systems as developed through one's circumstances or socialized dispositions) and cultural capital (a student's accumulated resources with respect to college, factors that influence college choice). The survey was administered to 184 students at a rural, predominantly African American high school in the south eastern part of the United States. Of the 184 participants, 45% (n = 82) identified as African American and were used in the statistical analysis performed in this chapter. The statistical analysis conducted in this chapter included descriptive analysis, correlation, and multiple linear regression. I found that rural, African American students need additional precollegiate experiences, guidance around colleges and careers, and leadership opportunities.

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Abstract

The nature of rural living is often characterized as remote, limited in social and academic experiences and opportunities, and predominantly White and low income. For Black gifted students, these characterizations define daily isolation and alienation, accompanied by racially oppressive conditions that cause stress and give constant reminders of their oppressed group status, despite their high intellectual, academic, affective, and creative potential. These conditions, coupled with the misnomer that being a rural student means that one must be from the dominant culture, render them invisible on many social and demographic variables. Most scholarly research related to rural education focuses on one demographic – poor White students from Appalachian, Midwest, or Southern communities. While most of the literature focuses on this demographic, the majority of Black gifted students living in rural areas are located in the southern region of the United States. The Black rural community, including Black gifted students, is almost invisible in literature explicating the conditions of rural education in America. This chapter takes an updated look at Black gifted students in rural America based on our previous work on this population. We explore where these students reside, the traits that make them unique, which includes attention to culture, and make recommendations for future research and programming to meet their intellectual, academic, creative, and psychosocial needs with attention to access, equity, and excellence.

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Rural students encounter challenges such as the achievement gap; racial inequality; little or no college counseling; higher rates of poverty; limited accessibility to college preparatory courses; and recruitment and retention of quality teachers. Moreover, Black males tend to experience the same issues; however, there is a dearth of literature around this population in rural areas. The authors describe the implications of the unique intersection of Black males in rural settings and discuss the unique challenges and opportunities presented. Specifically, academic achievement, college and career readiness, and access to employment and higher education for Black males are highlighted in this chapter. The authors provide recommendations on research and practice for educators to best serve Black males in rural settings.

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The underrepresentation of Black girls in gifted programs has received attention in both education and counseling literature. Nevertheless, scholars have given less emphasis to the intersections of intellectual ability, race, gender, social class, and place, particularly the idiosyncratic experiences of gifted Black girls from rural, economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The authors of this chapter discuss this unique positionality, with a focus on historical segregation and exclusionary practices within the American educational system. The authors discuss the tenets of critical race feminism and identify factors that may foster educational resilience for Black girls from rural, low-income communities. Recommendations are provided to address pertinent issues related to structural educational reform and inclusive gifted education. The chapter concludes with a call for education and counseling professionals to fundamentally change the systems and processes that perpetuate systematic inequity for this underserved population.

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Postsecondary Education Pathways and Experiences

Abstract

Burgeoning research indicates that career and postsecondary educational aspirations are salient among rural African American high school students. Yet, factors and processes that lead to their success as college students remain unclear, despite accumulating evidence suggesting the need to understand these students' college experiences. The dearth of scholarship elucidating the postsecondary experiences of African American students from rural backgrounds is particularly striking given the extensive research about the college experiences of African American students from urban and suburban locales. This chapter, grounded in W.E.B. Du Bois's Double Consciousness theory and qualitative in nature, focuses on the college experiences of rural African Americans who successfully operated simultaneously within White and Black communities in postsecondary educational settings.

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Abstract

As the most racially diverse postsecondary sector, community college student populations are heavily Black and Brown. It is well settled that for every student credit hour earned, a financial reward is generated; however, it is not until individuals attain a baccalaureate degree that they tend to have the socioeconomic power to pull themselves and their families out from poverty. Looking specifically at mathematics achievement and self-efficacy, I examine differences among pathways by institutional level—two-year, four-year, other, or no postsecondary education—and find that there is a division in the mathematics achievement and self-efficacy of Black rural Americans (US) who attend four-year institutions as compared to all others. Thus, while policies advancing free community college may enhance the visibility and perceived affordability of community colleges for Black rural Americans (US), to reduce poverty there needs to be greater attention to the mathematics achievement and self-efficacy in K-12 education.

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This chapter provides insight into unique experiences of and provides special considerations for working with rural African American high school and college students. The Emerging Scholars (ES) program has evolved over 17 years as the coordinators built relationships with rural and underserved communities. By examining this model, other programs will be provided with ideas, and the complexity, challenges, and opportunities of the work will be highlighted.

Building programs connecting rural and university teams and communities is neither easy nor prescriptive. By considering specific needs of students, families, schools, and universities, and geographical, political, historical, and cultural contexts, sustainable programs can be developed.

Additionally, this chapter includes a personal narrative from a graduate of the program who now works as an ES staff member. This perspective adds depth and a personal examination of the program's impact. Finally, the chapter concludes with a list of questions and considerations in building, enhancing, or maintaining campus–community partnerships in support of African American rural students.

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Abstract

Public education in the United States is White, middle class, and urban/suburban normed. However, in the past decade, national population trends show an increase in minority populations, particularly in the southeastern United States. This trend has resulted in a cultural mismatch between teachers who are not trained in strategies that are responsive to the needs of a diverse student population. Novice teachers in a rural school district in eastern North Carolina participated in a study to examine the degree to which they were prepared to successfully interact with their culturally diverse student populations through the lens of culturally relevant classroom management (CRCM), based on their training at either historically White (HWIs) or Black (HBCUs) postsecondary institutions. As part of this larger study, we found that teachers trained at HWIs, although well-intentioned, enter the classroom far less prepared than their HBCU-trained counterparts. However, for both groups of novice teachers, intercultural interactions earlier in their lives seem to have a greater influence than institutional effects on effective, culturally relevant classroom management practices.

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Abstract

The Black Belt of the Deep South with rural areas in the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi has historically faced challenges that come with rural isolation, limited industry and financial services, poor healthcare options, and lack of educational opportunities. In the early 1990s, some institutions of higher education, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, sought to increase educational opportunities for African Americans living in these areas. This chapter provides a historic case study of a doctoral education program that was founded to increase the number of education leaders, especially African Americans with advanced degrees, who would work in Alabama. As a historic case study, it provides a general overview of the founding of the program including mission and vision, a retrospective of the types of opportunities provided to doctoral students, and reflections on ways in which the program has improved the students' professional practices from both faculty and students. One component of this retrospective is to trace those students living in and working in the Alabama Black Belt. A key understanding undergirding the importance of this work is that as school administrators educational knowledge levels increase, so does the personal knowledge base that they can contribute to the communities in which they live and work. In this way, the educational reach of the doctor of education program leads to improvements in the larger Alabama Black Belt through both community and P-12 school interactions.

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In 2017, racial minorities made up 18.6% of the population in Appalachia compared to 39.3% of the United States population. Of this 18.6%, Black/African Americans represent the largest minority group, at 9.7% (Pollard & Jacobs, 2019). This chapter focuses on the positionality and experiences of Black women educators teaching critical perspectives at the intersection of race, gender, and class in rural Appalachia. Using Black feminist thought (Collins, 1986, 2000), a coautoethnography is used to highlight the authors' teaching experiences as Black women educators from non-Appalachian areas. Themes and recommendations identified across the authors' experiences are presented.

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Afterword

Pages 183-187
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About the Authors

Pages 193-197
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Index

Pages 199-203
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Cover of African American Rural Education
DOI
10.1108/S2051-2317202107
Publication date
2020-11-09
Book series
Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83909-870-3
eISBN
978-1-83909-870-3
Book series ISSN
2051-2317