Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Making Sense of Belonging for Black Undergraduate Men on a Predominantly White Campus
by Bonner, Kenyon Robert, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2018, 156; 10841138
Abstract (Summary)

The 6-year graduation rate for Black undergraduate men is the lowest of all students attending all postsecondary institutions in the United States. Only 35% of Black undergraduate men graduate in 6 years, compared to 60% of all students. The literature suggests that developing a sense of belonging may be particularly difficult for minoritized students who attend predominantly White institutions (PWIs). Sense of belonging is a student’s perceived social support on campus or feeling of connectedness and mattering. Additional research is needed to inform practices that foster higher levels of belonging for Black undergraduate men who attend PWIs to reduce the gap in college completion rates between Black undergraduate men and their peers. This study used a one-phase concurrent triangulation mixed-methods design. The mixed-methods approach involved analyses of quantitative data from the Student Experience in the Research University Undergraduate (ugSERU) Survey and analyses of qualitative data from in-depth student interviews to understand how sense of belonging varies among students of different race/ethnicities and gender and how Black undergraduate men experience sense of belonging at PWIs. The findings reveal that sense of belonging is higher for women compared to men. African Americans and Asians have comparable sense of belonging scores, but they are lower than White and Hispanic students. African American, Asian, Nonresident, and Multiracial men and women have significantly lower sense of belonging scores than Hispanic and White men and women. Two overarching themes emerged from the in-depth interviews, including forces that worked against students’ sense of belonging and forces that supported students’ sense of belonging. The in-depth interviews also revealed the divergent role that one force could play for different students by promoting sense of belonging for some students and working against sense of belonging for others. The findings from this study have several implications for higher education administrators serving at PWIs who wish to improve the retention and graduation of Black undergraduate men.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Perna, Laura W.
Commitee: MILNER, H. RICHARD, TIAO, ANN
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education Management
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Higher Education Administration
Keywords: African American men, Belonging, Black men, Graduation, PWI, Retention
Publication Number: 10841138
ISBN: 9780438339200
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