Male Student Perception of Academic Persistence at a Predominantly White Southern Rural University (WSRU)

By Tracy Mims.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The graduation rate over the past 30 years of students entering a tertiary educational setting (post-secondary institution) has plummeted to a consistent hold at the 50% mark because students depart higher education institutions prior to receiving a degree (Educational Policy Institute, 2003). Fifty-one percent of young women had entered and completed postsecondary education, compared to 41 percent of young men (Hudson, Aquilino & Kienzi, 2002). The primary purpose of this study is to explore the differences in the perception of academic persistence of 201 White undergraduate male students and 115 Black undergraduate male students at a predominantly White Southern Rural University (WSRU). The study examines data from an academic persistence survey completed during the spring semester 2007. Results of t-tests analyses indicate statistically significant differences between the groups regarding the perception of academic persistence. The findings revealed that the institutional climate for a sense of orientation to services at this rural institution had a significant difference amid groups. The results have implications both for enhancing institutional policies pertaining to student retention as well as instructive to administrators on this critical issue.

Keywords: Academic Persistence of Male Students, Rural Tertiary Institutions

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.115-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 646.690KB).

Dr. Tracy Mims

Assistant Professor of Social Work, Department of Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences, Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi, USA

The geographical area in which I live is the Delta Region of Mississippi. This is flat land ranging from Vicksburg, Mississippi to the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. I teach at Delta State University which is in the heart of the Delta Region and excessive poverty exists either from cultural remnant or from policy implications. My area of research is on the persistence of men in post-secondary education because of high rates of matriculation but failure to sustain to graduation. Additionally, I serve as facilitator for Great Books in a private penal system in the Delta Region. I also volunteer approximately 120 hours annually for Habitat for Humanity. As a national chairperson for the Association of Baccalaureate Programs Directors Conference, I have mobilized faculty to participate in funding raising activities such as silent auctions. I am a licensed social worker in the State of Mississippi with a Master’s degree in social work. I also have a Ph.D. in Higher Urban Education.

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