Journal of Education & Social Policy

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

Students of Color Perceptions of Parental Support on Retention at HBCUs
Jessica S. Marshall, Ph.D; Walter A. Brown, Ed.D; Isiah Marshall Jr., Ph.D., MSW

African American and Latino students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have arrived facing greater barriers to education than perhaps their white counterparts at majority institutions. To improve retention efforts at HBCUs, the research literature suggests that considering parents and families as partners in their student’s academics may be an effective strategy for student retention. Qualitative research design was used to examine the lived experiences and perceptions of thirteen (n=13) traditional African American and Latino college seniors enrolled at two HBCUs in the south, through the lens of Consortio Cum Parentibus (in partnership with parents). The analysis revealed that participants found parental support to be beneficial to their retention; students appreciated parents collaborating with the institution to ensure student success; and while they appreciated their autonomy, they valued the life lessons taught and appropriate life skills modeled by parents that promoted their independence. The findings from this research provided greater understanding of the impact of parents/families as motivational partners in the college process; in addition, the researchers recommend institutional and family strategies to address the level of support given by parents and families as it relates to retention.

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