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SUNY Erie Library Resource Center

Retention & Success of Students of Color in Higher Education Conference Resources

This guide contains an annotated bibliography of sources related to the conference, "Retention & Success of Students of Color in Higher Education," which will occur on Friday, February 28, 2020 at the SUNY Erie City Campus in Buffalo, New York.

Effective leadership practices for working with students of color

This chapter focuses on how the application of critical pedagogy to leadership education allows for issues of identity, power, and culture to shape the process of leadership learning. Examples from the authors' work with various populations of students of color are used to illustrate critical leadership pedagogy 

The chancellor of Los Angeles Community Colleges discusses the roles that leaders can play to create, nurture, and sustain a campus culture that can ultimately lead to improving student success, to diversifying the ranks of faculty and administrators, and to facilitating meaningful engagement concerning the critical issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Strategies for increasing persistence, retention, and graduation rate

This literature review highlights barriers to persistence, retention, and graduation for students of color at institutions of higher learning. Successful strategies, approaches, and initiatives are discussed with consideration to deficit and strengths-based approaches. 

This study suggests that graduation and retention rates could be improved by investing in scholarships, smaller class sizes, and financial aid infrastructure. Results indicate that retention and graduation rates were higher for students who were academically prepared, received grants or scholarships, and were in smaller classes. Findings did not indicate that these rates were influenced by sex, race, absenteeism, or living in residence halls.  

This study examines how psychological variables and mindsets determine academic achievement as well as retention and persistence. The introductory literature review is particularly helpful for looking at the wide variety of psychological variables that affect college students. 

Engagement and belonginess and its impact on student success

Research, theory, and/or practices in the retention specific to students of color

This article outlines the challenges of using team-based learning with African American students attending predominately White institutions. The challenges include feelings of isolation of African American students in White team-based learning groups, omission of African American students from relevant group work, discomfort of students with students of differing race/ethnicity, and the effect on group educational experience as a result of student discomfort.

Service learning programs have been implemented to prepare students for life outside the walls of their institutions. These programs were found to increase student persistence and retention with students reporting that this type of work made them more connected to their communities and the role of their future careers within them. This study, based on a co-hort of students in an Introduction to Society or English Composition course, showed that success at the outset with students of color achieving higher GPAs and persistence than their fellow students of color who did not participate. 

This study focuses on the second year of college, but narrows that focus further to Black second-year students using an explanatory sequential mixed methods approach, starting with a quantitative inquiry into the factors that contribute to retention for all second-year students at a regional, comprehensive, four-year institution in southern California. The follow-up qualitative phase concentrates on Black students at the institution and their second-year experiences.

Mentoring and its effects on student success

This article discusses the author's experience as a mentee when he was in Generation X age group and a mentor when a millennial generation mentee looked at him as a mentor. The article also focuses on the qualities of a good mentor, how the mentor should work on building relationship with the mentee, how one can have a long-term mentoring experience and look for better future mentoring opportunities.

This article posits that faculty-to-faculty mentoring programs have an impact on student success, though that impact often is not considered. The data are limited to a single institutional case study, but there is some early evidence that, indeed, faculty mentoring programs have a greater impact on students than one might think.

This article discusses a program implemented by Dr. Clarence G. Williams for Massachusetts Institute of Technology to find non-minority faculty to serve as "bridge leaders" for underrepresented students. Dr. Williams' work reflects his own experiences as a student of color and his desire to work with non-minority faculty to ensure they find ways to remove barriers that they may not realize exist for students of color. His work is documented at his website: 

Examining family, religion, and politics, including their impact on student success

The significance of this study is to examine factors other than academic factors that may influence student success. A logistic regression analysis did not reveal any relationship of student success with biological children, marriage/cohabitation, early family configuration, and hours worked.

The purpose of this study is to offer a nuanced examination of how Black families influence academic achievement and college-going by disaggregating data by ethnicity and nativity. Specifically, the authors explore how families shape the academic and college-going motivations of Black native students and Black immigrant students.

Developing a social and community engagement mindset for student success

Despite their best efforts, community colleges continue to see low rates of student persistence and degree attainment. Although such outcomes can be attributed in large part to students' lack of academic readiness, nonacademic issues also play a part. Building on Karp's 2011 framework of nonacademic support, this chapter explores the evidence that holistic support can encourage community college students' success.

This study proposes a new conceptualization of nominally different student success programs and investigates how variations in student engagement are related to variation in program design. Findings reveal that structural and underutilized curricular elements may be more impactful than skills-based curricula that are typically the organizing focus of these programs. 

In this chapter, the authors explore how institutional leaders can utilize organizational learning strategies to support civic learning outcomes and student success. Using a student engagement framework, they address specific questions about the impact of civic engagement on students’ persistence and success, and then discuss necessary changes in institutional structure and behavior to advance desired student learning outcomes.