What the Research Shows
Overwhelmingly, the preliminary review of the literature showed that African American students on predominantly White campuses are faced with issues of belonging and being accepted. The primary causes of low retention rates included lack of institutional fit, poor racial climate, lack of student involvement on campus, lack of role models and/or mentors, financial woes, and a climate that is not accepting of their racial identities.
Suggestions from the literature centered around creating a positive self-image for African American students, but varied in terms of implementation. Specific strategies included implementing or providing summer programs for incoming freshmen, mentorship programs, counselors for the students, learning communities for freshmen. Other strategies included establishing rapport with the African American students and helping them with career exploration.