Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Faculty Perceptions of Persistence among African American Students Enrolled in Distance Education Courses in Community Colleges
Arianna C. Stokes, Ph.D; Walter A. Brown, Ph.D

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the challenges faced by African American students in the virtual classroom through the lens of faculty who provide instruction. Thirteen community college faculty members participated in the study. The participants represented two community colleges located in the southeastern region of the United States. Data collection was conducted through qualitative interviews where the researcher used semi-structured and open-ended questions. The participants expressed the hardships encountered by African American learners in rural areas seeking to complete online courses and programs, and how students’ intent to leave affects their college trajectory. It was found that African American student persistence was largely impacted by intent to leave, finances, age of students, level of interaction with faculty, and class absenteeism.

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