An analysis of the perceptions of the minority/student affairs personnel regarding methods of black student retention
Two primary purposes were attendant to the study. The first purpose was to identify(from a list of support elements for black student retention deemed important from a study of the literature) the support elements present at 400 predominantly white colleges as perceived by the directors of their minority affairs/student affairs departments. The population for the study was colleges and universities with at least 1000 students and at least a 2% and no more than a 12% black student population. From the population a random sample of 400 colleges were selected from the 48 states in the continental United States. The minority/student affairs personnel from this sample were polled.A secondary purpose was to have these same personnel give their opinions as to the effectiveness of each support element and to rank them as to their effectiveness. The following findings were noted:1.Eleven of the elements listed were represented as part of the retention program for black students at 50% or more of the respondent colleges and universities.2. Those retention elements which numbered in the top five in importance to black student retention, that received the most responses were presidential commitment, black faculty members at all levels, committment to multiculturalism, increased financial aid, faculty/peer counselling and deal quickly with racism. Presidential committment was listed as among the five most important elements 9ltimes or 55.4% of the returns.3.When the percentages of weight that these respondents gave to cultural vs academic support was averaged, academic support was considered more important (63.0272) thancultural support (36.1967).4. There was a significant correlation at the .003 level between the number of retention support elements utilized by each respondent college and the retention rate of black students at the end of the student's first year.