Sustaining Enrollment of Black Men in College: The Positive Effects of Student Support Services



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Sustaining Enrollment of Black Men in College: The Positive Effects of Student Support Services Purpose: For many years, researchers have examined how to effectively improve retention rates and student success outcomes for black male students. This study will examine the importance and benefits of student support programs that focus on improving retention for black male students as they matriculate through college to graduation. Programs such as these can complement students’ classroom experiences. The study uses Aston’s theory of involvement to examine campus climate and student perceptions of student service effectiveness. In this single-case approach, a single Hispanic serving institution that also is considered a major research university is the focus. Method: This quantitative study analyzes data from the target institution for black male students. The data included outcomes related to academic performance and demographics, sense of belonging and engagement, and best practices used to engage and retain black male students. The data sources included institutional data and the University’s climate survey. Descriptive statistics, and visual representations of the data were used to respond to the research questions posed. Results and Discussion: Some key findings from this study included:

  1. Black male retention rates were lower compared to White, Asian, Hispanic and International retention rates and on average, earned fewer credits each semester than their total credit hours attempted each semester.
  2. The institution offered several services that support all students, specifically minority students that help with positive educational outcomes.
  3. Black men were somewhat less satisfied with their experience at the institution, averaged a slightly lower sense of belonging, and were more likely to consider leaving the institution because of concerns about diversity and inclusion. Several recommendations on how to improve students’ success for Black males include:
  4. Conducting additional studies that at predominately White institutions and historically Black colleges and universities to understand the trends at different types of institutions.
  5. Conduct quantitative longitudinal research to examine the impact of the implementation of specific student support services on Black male retention over time.



Black males, Student success, Retention, Student support services, Engagement, Sense of belonging