The majority of our nation's academic institutions fall short in their efforts to ensure that African American students successfully persist from admission to graduation. Since the majority of African American students attend Predominately White Institutions (PWIs), these institutions must be held to the highest standard of accountability for African American student retention. Therefore, PWIs must explore alternative retention mechanisms that will increase the African American student's integration into campus life. This study examined the perceived effects of gospel choir participation on the retention of African American students at a PWI.
Qualitative methodology was utilized to assess whether or not participation in this specific extracurricular activity had implications in support of African American student persistence. Using the social integration component of Tinto's retention theory, this researcher explored whether or not gospel choir participants maintained stronger linkages to the campus and their African American and spiritual heritage, thereby decreasing feelings of marginalization and increasing persistence.
Individual interviews and focus groups were held with student choristers and the choir's musical staff to assess perceived feelings of integration. Through the summarization of qualitative responses, it was found that African American student choristers felt an overwhelmingly strong sense of support from their peers and the musical leadership of the gospel choir. Some students reported that the choir was their primary reason for remaining at the institution.
This study concluded that gospel choir participation decreased feelings of marginalization and enhanced feelings of social integration. Therefore, this study encourages PWIs to consider college gospel choirs as an additional resource when attempting to positively impact African American student persistence at a PWI.
|Commitee:||Kaufman, Cathy, Tidwell, Monte|
|School:||Indiana University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Educational and School Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Black studies, Music education, Higher education, African American Studies|
|Keywords:||African-American, College student, Gospel choir, Gospel music, Persistence, Predominantly White, Retention, Sing, University|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be