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Regenerating HBCU Persistence and Retention: Rethinking the First-Year Experience

Regenerating HBCU Persistence and Retention: Rethinking the First-Year Experience
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Author(s): Erica J. Woods-Warrior (Old Dominion University, USA)
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 30
Source title: Setting a New Agenda for Student Engagement and Retention in Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Charles B. W. Prince (Howard University, USA) and Rochelle L. Ford (Syracuse University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0308-8.ch002


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The public discourse on postsecondary education emphasizes the ability of minority-serving institutions to improve the national status of college completion. As incubators for a large proportion of African American professionals, HBCUs play a critical role in meeting the nation's goals for degree attainment. However, these institutions are susceptible to challenges including recruitment, retention, and pipelining. To ensure sustainability in the contemporary marketplace and produce workforce-ready alumni, HBCUs must innovate and assess to strengthen the educational process. This chapter examines the significance of nontraditional students and contextualizes targeted retention efforts. The author highlights comprehensive pedagogy and practices, including learning communities, first-year programs, and mentorship. The work addresses two goals: (a) to understand conceptual bases on which retention strategies for at-risk students are developed, and (b) to isolate effective practices for improving academic and professional, success outcomes for these students.

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