An Analysis of the Use of Continuous Quality Improvement in the Retention of African American Males at Historically Black Colleges and Universities A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate School of Tennessee State University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the degree of Doctorate of Education Graduate Research Series No.___________ Howard G. Wright December 2008
iiAn Analysis of the Use of Continuous Quality Improvement in the Retention of African American Males at Historically Black Colleges and Universities A Dissertation Submitted to the Graduate School of Tennessee State University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the degree of Doctorate of Education Howard G. Wright December 2008
ivTo the Graduate School: We are submitting a dissertation by Howard G. Wright entitled “An Analysis ofthe Use of Continuous Quality Improvement in the Retention of African American Malesat Historically Black Colleges and Universities”. We recommend that it be accepted inpartial fulfillment of the degree, Doctorate of Education in Education Administration andSupervision. Denise Dunbar . Chairperson Christon Arthur . Committee Member Janet Finch . Committee Member Mark Hunter . Committee MemberAccepted for the Graduate School: Alex Skewat .Dean of the Graduate School
v DEDICATION This dissertation is dedicated to the individuals who have assisted me in makingthis dream possible. I am most grateful to my grandmother Vashti James for herunwavering love throughout my early life and her commitment to ensuring that I valuethe importance of education during my developmental years.
vi ACKNOWLEGEMENTS I sincerely thank my committee members Dr. Denise Dunbar Chairman, DrChriston Arthur, Dr. Janet Finch, and Dr. Mark Hunter for their guidance throughout thedissertation process. I thank Dr. Phillip Redrick, my former academic advisor at AlabamaA & M University, for directing my passion for higher education research to focus on theplight of African American males in higher education. I am grateful to Dr. LeathaBennett, Mrs. Janet Jones, and my colleagues at The Office of Retention and AcademicSupport at Alabama A & M University for their support and encouragement. I thank Dr.Kathrynn Seidler Engberg for her commitment to edit the manuscript. I also thank my lifelong friends of the Class of 88 (The Ratoons) of The College of Agriculture in PortAntonio Jamaica for their continued encouragement. I am grateful to the friends I met asan international student at Florida A & M University, who encouraged and supported meeven when I came very close to becoming a college dropout. I thank my wife, Andrea, for her understanding, love, support, and encouragementthroughout the dissertation process. Without her, I would have not started this journey.To my children, Andre, Rojae, and Georgiana, I thank you all for your patience andsupport, and for the time you gave me to work undisturbed. Finally, I am eternallygrateful to God for taking me from a humble beginning and providing the resources anddrive to complete this journey.
vii ABSTRACTHOWARD WRIGHT. An Analysis of the Use of Continuous Quality Improvement in theRetention of African American Male Students at Historically Black Colleges andUniversities (under the direction of DR. DENISE DUNBAR.) This study explores the use of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in theretention of African American male students, at historically black colleges anduniversities (HBCUs). Based on current literature, African American male students atHBCUs are faced with academic and non-academic factors which affect their retentionand subsequent graduation. CQI is a management system available to Academic SupportDirectors which promotes engaging leadership, establishing and defining the modes ofoperation, and making data driven decisions. The purpose of the study was to focus on the application of Continuous QualityImprovement by Academic Support Directors when integrating retention strategies forAfrican American male students at two-year, four-year public, and four-year privateHBCUs. To complete this study, a quantitative web-based instrument was sent to 99Academic Support directors at 99 HBCUs that serve male undergraduate populations.The instrument consisted of 78 Likert-like scale and two open-ended questions. Thereturn rate was 55.4% (57). The responses were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) andT-test. The null hypothesis tested at a 0.05 level of significance. The results from thehypotheses revealed no statistically significant differences between the various colleges
viiiand (a) retention policies and practices, (b) the years practicing CQI, (c) the benefitsachieved, (d) the obstacles faced, (e) the use of data in decision making, (f) the extent ofsenior leadership support, and (g) the provision of leadership support for CQI. Therewere also no statistically significant differences between the practice of CQI and the useof data in decision making, as well as the perception of senior leadership support for CQIand the time practicing CQI. A summary of the open ended questions revealed that CQI was discussed andimplemented at the various HBCUs, but required a lot of time and departmentalcooperation. The findings indicate that CQI is practiced by Academic Support Directorsat HBCUs, and the issues faced in applying CQI to the retention management of AfricanAmerican male students are similar among two-year, four-year public, and four- yearprivate HBCUs. It is recommended that further research be conducted (a) on the use ofCQI in African American male student retention at predominately white institutions, (b)examine which CQI model has the most impact on African American male retention, (c)the financial impact of CQI in retention management, (d) the success of non-implementers of CQI, and (e) leadership support of CQI in African American malestudent retention.
ix TABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER Page I. INTRODUCTION………………………………………………… 1 Statement of the Problem…………………………………………....7 Purpose of the Study…………………………………………………9 The Significance of the Study………………………………………10 Research Questions…………………………………………………10 Limitations of the Study…………………………………………….12 Assumptions of the Study………………………………………….. 12 Definition of Terms…………………………………………………13 II LITERATURE REVIEW…………………………………………...17 The Continuous Quality Management Philosophy………………….17 The Continuous Quality Organization………………………………19 The African American Male Student ……………………………….22 Drivers of Continuous Improvement in Higher Education..........…..27 Strategies for Student Retention………………………..…………..30 Data and Assessment………………………………………………..44 The Role of Institutional Management……………………………..46 Continuous Quality Improvement in Higher Education…………….48 Leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement……………………51
xCHAPTER Page Quality Improvement Methods Used in Higher Education………....54 Summary of the Literature…………………………………………. 62III METHODOLOGY………………………………………………………65 Research Design…………………………………………………….65 Participants………………………………………………………….66 Research Instrument…………………………………………….......67 Data Collection Procedures…………………………………………70 Data Analysis……………………………………………………….71 Hypotheses………………………………………………………….72IV ANALYSIS OF DATA…………………………………………………..74 Results of Research Questions…………………………………………...76 Results of Hypotheses Testing…………………………………………...85V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS……….…..101 Summary of the Findings………………………………………………..102 Discussion of the Findings………………………………………………106 Conclusion………………………………………………………………111 Recommendations for Further Research…….………………………….113REFERENCES …………………………………………………………………115
xiAPPENDICES A. First Letter of Solicitation…………………………………………..141 B. Second Letter of Solicitation………………………………………..144 C. Final Letter of Solicitation…………………………………………..146. D. Permission to Use Survey ……………………………………….....148 E. Survey Instrument…………………………………………………..150 F. Panel of Experts…………………...………………………………...163 G. Institutional Review Board Application……………………………166 H. Open Ended Responses…………………………………………….168 I. Four Year Class Average 1999-2000 Cohort………………………...171
xii LIST OF TABLESTable Pages 1. Results of Cronbach’s Analysis………………………………………..69 2. Results of Response by College Size………………………………….75 3. Results of Colleges by Classification…………………………………75 4. The Effectiveness of Retention Program Meeting the needs of African American Male Students……………………….77 5. Results of CQI Methods Practiced by Retention Directors…..………79 6. Factors Driving the Support for CQI in Retention Management for African American Males……………………………80 7. Obstacles Faced in Implementing CQI in Retention Management………………………………………..82 8. Factors Driving Non Implementers from Supporting CQI in Retention Management for African American Male Students…83 9. Benefits Derived from Implementing CQI in Retention Management for African American Male Students……….84 10. ANOVA Results of Significant Differences Between Program Policies and Practices for African American Male Students and the Various Colleges.…………………………. …...….85 11. ANOVA Results for Significant Differences Between Years of Practice and the Various Colleges ………………………………... 87 12. ANOVA Results of Benefits Achieved from Implementing CQI in Retention of African American Males Among the Various Colleges …..……………………………………………………………88
xiiiTable Pages 13. ANOVA Results of the Differences in Obstacles Faced Implementing CQI and the Various College..……………….....90 14. T-test Comparing Practitioners and Non Practitioners in the use of Data in Decision Making for African American Male Student Retention………………………………………………92 15. ANOVA Results for Differences in the Use of Data for Decision Making and the Various Colleges……………………….93 16. ANOVA Results for the Differences between the Extent of Senior Administrative Support and the Various Colleges….94 17. ANOVA Results for the Differences in the Perception of Senior Leadership Support for CQI and the Time Practicing CQI…………………………………………………...96 18. ANOVA Results Comparing the Differences Between The Provision of Leadership in Campus Retention and The Various Colleges ………………………………………….……...98 19. ANOVA Results Comparing the Differences Between the Provision of Leadership in Campus Retention Initiatives and the Years Practicing CQI…………………………….99
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION There is a great demand for institutions to monitor students’ progress throughtheir college experience and apply strategies to improve their successful matriculation(Dey & Hurtado, 2005). A students decision to leave an institution is very complex andinvolves several factors that must be managed effectively during the students academiccareer (Bean, 1980; Tinto, 1993; Nora & Cabrera, 1996). For African American males athistorically black colleges, the stakes are much higher, because more than two thirdsleave without obtaining a degree from the same institution (NCES, 2003). The AfricanAmerican male student’s plight is a serious concern that requires evaluation of thestrategies used by the institutions and solutions found that will enable the majority ofAfrican American male students to graduate within five to six years (Pascarella, 1985). In a report on first time bachelor degree seeking students enrolled in 1996, whograduated from the same HBCU institution by August 2002, the graduation rates forblack females by year four was 23%, in comparison to 14% for black males. In year five,the graduation rates for black females was 38% in comparison to 28% for black males. Inyear six the graduation rate was 44% compared to 34% respectively. Comparatively, thesix-year graduation rate for white males was 56% (NCES, 2003).
2 The retention rate for any group of students is a performance indicator that allowsinstitutions to demonstrate quality, satisfy the stakeholders’ need for improvement andaccountability, and enhances the institutional capability in making informed decisions onpolicies, programs and personnel (Bogue, 1998). A low retention rate for any institutionis damaging. A low rate is an indication of the ineffectiveness of an institution inmanaging the progress of its students to graduate within the time indicated. It hasnegative implications for the students who drop out. The institutions reputation iscompromised, and revenues that could be generated for academic and student services arelost (Leveille, 2006; Tinto, 1993). According to Swail et. al (2004), when an institutionloses a student it reduces its income over the years. The institution also loses revenuefrom bookstores, residential halls, financial aid, campus restaurants, and potentially lostalumni contributions (Swail et. al, 2004). Mustiful (1995) found that for improvements to occur in retention, all areas ofthe campus community including financial aid, faculty and peer support, campus activityand mentors at the institution must work together to improve the student experience,because individually they impact all students persistence. Students who departed fromhistorically black colleges, however, spoke about the disorganization on the campuses,financial aid issues, problems with bureaucratic red tape and poor customer service whichimpacted their departure (Hurd, 2000). Over the years many HBCU administrators failed to look at the financial andsocial implications that retention has on their institutions (Hurd, 2000).This has created ageneral public consensus that black males on campuses have difficulty becoming socially
3integrated, but very little is done to better manage their academic careers to improve theirparticipation and degree completion (Davis, 1999; Cuyjet, 2006). A report from the Consortium for Student Data Exchange (2004) found thatinstitutions lose 20 % of its students in the first year, 11 % in the second year and 9 % inthe third year. A similar study by the ACT (2005) on retention transitioning fromfreshman to sophomore from 1983 to 2005 showed that the national rate for two-yearprivate colleges was 62%, in comparison to 52% for two-year public institutions. Theretention rate was 66.4% for public baccalaureate institutions, in comparison to 70% forprivate baccalaureate institutions. For public doctoral institutions, the retention rate was77%, compared to 82.1% for private doctoral institutions. Nationally for all institutions,the retention rate was 68.2% (ACT, 2005). Retention projects have been established at most historically black colleges anduniversities by making retention a major part of their institutional mission. ManyHBCUs, with the support of federal and state agencies, have established institutionalstrategies such as academic support services, remediation, counseling and retentioncenters, career services, emergency loans and merit based scholarships, private andcorporate donations, along with Title IV initiatives such as Summer Bridge and Trioprograms. Each program plays a significant role in improving retention (Chenoweth,1999; Jones-Giles, 2004). The programs are aimed at developing academic skills throughremediation, social skills development, and providing financial assistance (Chenoweth,1999). The student reported benefits from these programs are improved grades, enhancedsense of self-worth, as well as the ability to persevere in school (Marshall, 2005).
4 Efforts to address the general needs of black students do not specifically addressthe needs of African American men within the campus structure. Academic support andretention services should be designed to address the socio-economic problems faced byblack male students as they maneuver the obstacles they encounter on campuses (Cuyjet,1997). According to Fortson (1997), many programs have not increased the retentionrates significantly, because they do not demonstrate their effectiveness in addressing thefactors that will increase the retention of African American male students. According toNittie et al. (1994), the fade out effect has trapped many institutions into a cycle in whichstudents participate in programs, but as they improve and move out of the programs, thegains are lost. The National Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities’ (NASULGC)report (2001) on the future of state land grant universities found that the public wasgrowing frustrated with institutional unresponsiveness. Despite the resources available,public institutions are perceived as unorganized, unable to improve their internalproblems efficiently and effectively. Boyd (2002) and Muraskin & Lee (2004) arguedthat negative perceptions are fueled by increases in tuition, increases in studentindebtedness, demands for more financial aid, reductions of educational opportunity forlow income students, financial crises at the state and local government, allegations offinancial and academic wrong doing at institutions, students’ performance, reductions ofstate appropriations to higher education, and finally poor management of tax dollars. The demand for resources has created an ongoing national and regional discussionby legislators, the public, higher education policy makers, and members of the African
5American community, all of which call for accountability and a planned approach toimprove the retention of African American males in higher education. In support of thesediscussions, The NASULAGC, (2001) report recommended that land grant institutionsbecome engaged in improving student experiences, change the campus culture andorganize themselves to respond to the needs of the current and future students. According to Tinto (2000), institutions should consider more than the overallgraduation rates, but instead examine improvements in retention of the different studentpopulations (low income, traditional, first generation, non traditional) to see if theirpersistence rates have increased with time. Davis (1999) concurred that improvements inthe current retention rates on campuses require a collective effort to nurture the AfricanAmerican male from his junior year in high school to his senior year in college.Monitoring a student from the time he/she is accepted by the institution provides theinstitution with information to offer the necessary services to accommodate the student’sneeds. The solution also requires the contribution of individuals involved with students tocontinuously improve the processes that will sustain the student throughout theiracademic career (Cuyjet, 2006). Prudent retention management requires leaders to become part of the solution.Successful retention planning involves setting the stage for student retention, establishingpriorities, integrating retention goals with existing programs and services, evaluatingretention outcomes, preparing realistic timelines, along with recognizing and celebratingstudent successes (Law, 1999).
6 Seymour (1993) argued that for an institution to solve any of its problems theremust be an understanding of the issues, then it must work continuously to improve theprocesses that caused the problem. Regular assessment of the efficiency of institutionalactivities creates a foundation that allows groups to respond to changing demands of thestudents’ needs with a planned approach (Kaye & Anderson, 1999; Chamblis, 2003).Regular assessment creates a culture of evidence that allows the institution to constantlygain information about itself, use the information to continually improve its managementprocesses that will satisfy students’ needs (Leveille, 2006). According to Dew (2006), continuous quality improvement models assistinstitutions in examining their work systems and performance indicators. The modelsengage leadership, define strategic and operational planning, create measures andassessment, and evaluate work processes. Several CQI models have been used in highereducation to create operational improvements to non-academic departments. The mostnotable are Baldrige Criteria for Education Excellence and Balance Scorecard (Rice &Taylor, 2003), Benchmarking (Thalner, 2005), Quality Planning (Zhiming, 1999) andStrategic Planning (Low, 1999). Continuous Quality Improvement does not have to be an institutional initiative,but non-academic departments such as retention can use it as an effective tool to makesmall improvements (Chambliss, 2003). Institutions can also create receptive employeesto quality models (Fritz, 1999), and can use CQI as a launching pad for campus widequality initiatives (Dew & Nering, 2003).
7 Deming (1986) suggests that it is the responsibility of the manager in the qualityenvironment to eliminate obstacles that will prevent optimal performance, becauseproblems that occur are due to system failure rather than unmotivated employees. TheCQI process allows managers to focus on improving the college experience bystrengthening integration, student involvement and commitment, and utilizing a plannedapproach to problem solving (Chamblis, 2003). Continuous Quality Improvement allowsdepartments to respond to the changing demands of student needs and services creating afoundation to respond to the challenges faced in the educational environment (Chamblis,2003). Improvement in student services can only occur if there is an examination of allthe different processes involved in CQI and by bringing together all the variousstakeholders together. CQI creates cross-functional teams that manage key processes,maximize operational effectiveness, and enhance customer satisfaction (Lewis & Smith,1993; Burril & Ledolter, 1999). Continuous Quality Improvement emphasizes service,implements teamwork, institutes divisions of management, solves problems based onfacts, utilizes statistical methods, and develops human capital (Lewis & Smith, 1994). Statement of the Problem While there are steady increases in the female population at HBCUs, the malepopulation continues to decline steadily. The number of African American men enrolledat HBCUs continued to decline from 90,130 (40%) in 1995 to 85,628 in 2004, making up(39%) of the HBCU population (United Negro College Fund [UNCF], 2006). TheNational Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) (2007) graduation report for the
81999-2000 cohorts showed graduation rates for African American men at a low of 9% atthe University District of Columbia, 13 % at Texas Southern University, and 14% atAlabama State respectively. In contrast to a high of 60 % at Miles College, 55% atMorehouse College, 52% at Fisk, and 46% at Elizabeth State University respectively(Appendix H). The current African American male students’ graduation rates reflect the highlevels of attrition for African American rates at HBCUs. In general, leadership byacademic support directors for retention initiatives is critical when developing anintegrated approach that will continuously improve the retention process, improvedepartmental operational efficiencies, and ultimately improve the graduation rates forAfrican American males. Improving the current system requires improvements not onlyin the individual units, but also departments that contribute to African American malestudent retention (Seymour, 1997). The utilization of management initiatives such as CQIby college directors helps non-academic departments such as student retention services,to develop an integrated structured approach to continuously improve their systems(Chamblis, 2004). Despite the proliferation of several quality initiatives over the past two decades,there is no published research on the use of continuous quality management models toimprove the factors that impact the retention of African American male students frompre-college to graduation at HBCUs. The low graduation rates at HBCUs has created theneed to ask: To what extent are Continuous Quality Improvement methods used byAcademic Support Directors at historically black colleges and universities to address the
9retention of African American undergraduate male students working? This study istherefore designed to examine the extent to which Continuous Quality Improvementmethods are used by Academic Support Directors at HBCUs to address the retention ofAfrican American male students. The Purpose of the Study The discussions relating to African American male student retention athistorically black colleges and universities (HBCU) are more relevant, because of theuniqueness of their mission in providing educational opportunities for all students(Wilson, 2000). According to Wilson (2000), HBCUs open enrollment policy attractsstudents with academic deficiencies, low ACT scores and requires some level ofremediation to be academically successful. Once the institution accepts these students,their retention becomes an important part of HBCUs accountability. Historically blackcolleges and universities, like any other institution, must clearly monitor the progress ofenrolled students they enroll and make an effort to improve their college experience (Dey& Hurtado, 2005). The primary purpose of this study was to examine the extent of the use ofContinuous Quality Improvement among Academic Support Directors in integratingretention strategies for African American male students at two-year HBCUs, four-yearpublic, and four-year private HBCUs. The study evaluated the level of awareness andimplementation of quality improvement practices among Academic Support Directors atvarious HBCUs. The study sought to identify the impact of institutional policies andpractices on the retention of African American male students, as well as examining the
10level of awareness and practice of continuous quality improvement practices amongacademic support directors at HBCUs. The study also examined the perception of theimpact of Continuous Quality Improvement strategies on the retention management ofAfrican American males and the role of leadership in the practice of CQI in retentionmanagement. The Significance the Study Woodard, Mallory & De Luca (2001) concurred that institutions must examinetheir characteristics, culture, academic best practices, student services, and how theyaffect their ability to graduate their students. According to the College Board (1999),college officials should promote the use of strategies for minority student issues, take thelead in developing these strategies, and get members of the school community involved. This study is important because it provides information on the continuous qualityframework used by two-year, private and four-year public HBCUs to improve theAfrican American male college student experience. The study is also significant becauseit brings to the forefront effective management strategies utilized by HBCUs to improvethe factors that impact African American male students’ engagement and participation. Itis the intention of this research to fill the void for a study on Continuous QualityImprovement practices among academic support directors in dealing with the issues facedby African American males at both private and public historically black colleges. Research Questions Referring to the statement of the problem and the significance of the study thefollowing research questions form the basis of this study:
111. What percentage of HBCUs have a center designated for student retention?2. What percentage of HBCUs have support services designed to target traditional and non-traditional African American male student populations?3. How effective are the current retention programs and policies in meeting the needs of African American male students at historically black colleges and universities (i.e. student preparedness, faculty, mentors and role models, academic advising, financial aid, campus environment and services and socialization and integration)?4. To what extent are Academic Support Directors aware of and adopting quality improvement models to their department?5. What Continuous Quality Improvement models are used, if any, to manage retention outcomes?6. What factors are driving academic support directors to continuously improve the retention of African American male students?7. What obstacles are encountered by implementers in the application of CQI to retention practices?8. What factors contributed to non- implementers not pursuing CQI in retention practices for African American males?9. What benefits are gained from the application of Continuous Quality Methods?
12 Limitations of the Study1. The study will be limited to Historically Black Colleges and Universities with undergraduate male populations within the United States and U.S Virgin Islands.2. The study will focus on the management of undergraduate African American male students only, and will not include graduate level African American males.3. The study will focus on Academic Support Directors at only historically black colleges and universities, and not academic support directors at predominately white institutions.4. The study will not focus on the retention management of African American females and other ethnic groups attending HBCUs.5. The study focuses only on the perceptions of administrators who have responsibility for academic support and retention at the institutions studied.6. The study will limit Continuous Quality improvement Strategies to Baldridge Criteria, Balance Scorecard, Strategic Planning, Process Management and Benchmarking. Assumptions of the Study 1. Academic support directors can make decisions relating to the continuous quality management method used to fulfill the institution’s retention mandate. 2. Continuous quality management strategies that are used by predominately white institutions are applicable to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. 3. The responses of the Academic Support Directors will be without bias, offering an accurate description of their individual operations.
13 4. African American males entering HBCUs share similar institutional experiences with other males at HBCUs that impact their retention. 5. All HBCUs retention rates for African American male students’ needs improvement. 6. All HBCUs have a department or individual who is responsible for retention. Definition of TermsAcademic Support Director: Individuals who are responsibility for the day to day. operational management of the retention program at their respective institutionsAfrican American males: Refers to black men enrolled at historically black colleges and universities who reside in the United States and its territories.Assessment: A statistical method of evaluating work functions and processes to provide diagnostic information to policymakers.At Risk Students: Students classified as at risk are first generation to attend college, have low parental income, have low high school cumulative grade point average, have low ACT scores, have poor high school preparation, have poor social skills, have financial difficulties, and work more than 40 hours per week.Attrition: The departure of students before degree completion.Balance Scorecard: A management system that measures the business strategy through measurable objectives (Reuben, 1999).College Type: The classifications of institutions based on whether they are private four year, public four year and two year institutions.
14Continuous Quality Improvement: The identification of the customers’ needs and expectations, compared against established market standards. It utilizes data collection and analysis to continuously seek improvement in specific services and process within the organization (Chambliss, 2003).Customers: Individuals who use the organization products and services.Drivers: Factors inside and outside of the institution that force institutions to improve operational efficiencies.Baldrige Criteria for Educational Excellence: This is the education excellence section of the Baldrige Quality awards. It integrates a management system through leadership, strategic planning, student relationship, stakeholders, market data, and management analysis (Baldrige National Quality Program, 2006).Benchmarking: The finding of the best practices of a peer organization and examining, the factors that lead to the organization’s success, and adopting the factors that are suitable in improving the organizational performance (Dew and Nearing, 2004).Higher Education: Post secondary institution that confers certificates, diplomas, and degrees, and includes two year, four-year public, and four year private colleges and universities.Historically Black Colleges and Universities: These institutions are “colleges or universities that were established before 1964 with the primary mission of educating the African American community and are accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education to be a reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is,
15 according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation." (Higher Education Act, 1965). There are currently 105 established HBCUs in the United States and the U.S Virgin Island (USDE, 2002).Institution: Four year or two year private and public college and universities of higher education.Intrusive Advising: Proactively seeking out students who are at-risk and providing the necessary services that will improve the student’s chances of completing their degree.Persistence: The student remaining in the institution until the degree attainment.Quality: Conducting the organization’s operational transaction within the agreed requirements of the customer (Crosby, 1997).Quality Improvement: The process by which changes occur in the institution through transformation (Spandauer, 1992).Quality management: The design of programs to fit the organization’s current plan through understanding the processes, planning, designing implementation, and evaluation of the processes (Burril & Ledolter, 1999).Retention: The flow of students through the institution within a one to six year period; and is reflected in the way the student complete their degree requirements or drop out (Tinto, 1993).Retention Program: A structured program within an institution designed to provide services and programs to guide the student from admission to graduation.
16Various HBCUs: Two year and four year private and public historically black colleges and universities.Strategic Planning: A formal process that strategically integrates and aligns the organization’s short- term and long-term goals to support its mission and management plans on a year-by year -basis (Thompson & Strickland, 1999).
CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction This section covers an overview of the use of Continuous Quality Improvement inhigher education and the issues that contribute to the retention of African American malestudents. The review of the literature is divided into the following sections: theContinuous Quality Management philosophy, the African American male student inhigher education, the drivers of continuous improvement in higher education, thestrategies for student retention, the data assessment, the continuous quality improvementstrategies in higher education, leadership and finally a summary of the literature. The Continuous Quality Management Philosophy Quality methods used in the corporate environment and higher education havetheir genesis with Fredrick Taylor’s scientific method (Birnbaum, 2000). Taylor and hisassociates postulated that in analyzing the work process and timing, the most efficientmethod of completing a task could be determined (Hoy & Miskel, 2005). Taylorproposed the establishment of work methods and design, the establishment of standardsfor daily work, the training of workers, and centralized planning by management.(Sheldrade, 1996). The advent of Taylorism created the self-directing team conceptallowing employees to become more skilled in the management process, taking on
18functions that were only designated for management (Brocka and Brocka, 1992). In acriticism of Taylor’s principle, Evans & Lindsay (2005) argued that it dramaticallyimproved production efficiencies and quality, but lacked system perspective and focus onthe customer. Total Quality Management revolutionized management philosophy by placingemphasis on customer satisfaction, utilizing statistical analysis, and emphasizing humanresource development in the management process (Deming, 1986). According to Evan &Lindsay (2005), Deming’s philosophy emphasized the need for quality to be driven bythe managers, be based on the continual improvement of products from design tomanufacturing, and a reduction in uncertainty and variation. To support his philosophy Deming (1986) outlined 14 points on operations in aquality environment. They included: 1.goal specific improvements, 2. adoption of a newmanagement philosophy, 3. assessments and inspection, 4. reward for performance, 5.continuous product improvement, 6. employee training, 7. leadership practices, 8. removefear by creating an atmosphere of trust and creativity, 9. encourage teamwork, 10.management through statistical thinking, 11. process improvement, 12. removal ofbarriers to quality improvement, 13. promote employee education, and 14. improve theculture and climate of the organization. Crosby’s (1979) 14 steps of quality and Juran’s (1989) 10 steps to quality also shareDeming’s (1986) approach to managing in a quality environment. Crosby (1979)postulated that proposed improvements should be passed down the organization througheducation and dialogue, quality must be done right the first time, and zero defects are the
19only performance standards. Juran (1989), on the other hand, emphasized that qualityplanning, control, and improvements can occur in an organization by designing qualityprograms to fit the organization’s current plans. In comparing the different quality philosophies of Deming (1986), Juran (1989)and Crosby (1979), Evans and Lindsay (2005), concurred that they all focused on thecommitment of top management to the quality process, incremental continuousimprovement, customer service, teamwork, measurement for problem solving,recognition and reward, and the problems associated with changing organizational culture(Evans and Lindsay, 2005). The Continuous Quality Organization A continuous quality organization is an organization that creates a climate thatconstantly reviews its operations to find areas for continuous improvement (Deming,1986). It establishes measurable yardsticks which are driven by comparison with otherorganizational costs, accountability, performance, and service (Seymour, 1993). A CQIorganization meets the customer’s requirements (Evans & Lindsay, 2005). The CQIorganization should conduct its transactions within the agreed framework by impactingevery area within the organization that contributes to improving the organization’sreputation and ultimately its revenue intensity (Crosby, 1997). In a summary of qualitydefinition within higher education, Bogue (1998) argued that quality is a competitiveaffair which allows institutions to maintain their competiveness. It should be establishedin the organization’s goals and mission, and the result should add value to theorganization (Bogue, 1998).
20 Deming (1986) Plan- Do-Check-Act cycle (PCDA) suggests that incrementalcontinuous improvement within an organization occurs on a continuum. The process, thecustomers, goals, assessment strategy, and the best solution to the problem define the“planning” phase. The “do” phase consists of making incremental system changes,followed by the “check” phase which examines the changes to determine if the solutionaddresses the issue. The “Act” stage is the implementation of the plan on a larger basis. Arveson’s (1998) critique of Deming’s PCDA model argued that it focuses oncontinuous improvements at the production level, but businesses seek improvement at thebusiness or unit level to drive the production process. Burrill & Ledolter (1999) insupport of Deming (1986) stated that, “ A single improvement requires selecting theproblem to tackle, determining the cause of the problem, devising a system change toremove the cause, gain approval to make the change, install and verify that the change iseffective” (p. 67). The micro-level process has its advantages; it improves services forstudents and faculty, it improves program visibility, it is cost effective, and it createsimprovement in operational efficiencies in service areas (Dew & Nering, 2004). To improve student achievement Spanbauer (1992) argued that quality improvementprocess is the medium through which cultural change can be exercised in education bychanging how schools are managed. The quality improvement process should involvestudents, staff, faulty and other school constituents with each recognizing the otherscontribution. These contributions should be challenged through training and commitmentto change (Spanbauer, 1992).
21 Adams (2000) in examining strategies that are used to improve student services ateight California Community Colleges found that student affairs directors agree thatstudent services must be improved to be competitive. The study found that leadershipmust be committed to the goals and mission of the institution, and must developcontinuous improvement strategies based on students’ needs. The study also found thatimprovement in student services requires continuous assessment, surveys, andquestionnaires about student satisfaction and must be given top priority in decisionsmaking. Adams concluded that these methods create a student-centered environmentwhere students will participate in services designed for their success. Quality programs must constantly focus on process improvement with incrementalchanges made to improve the process (Burrill & Ledolter, 1999). To understand theprocess there must be an understanding of the needs and expectations of the customer.The process must be examined to ensure that the customer’s needs are met. Ifexpectations are not met, the process must be redesigned to satisfy the customer’s needs.The system must be continuously re-evaluated for weaknesses, and then strategies mustbe made to correct the faults (Burrill & Ledolter, 1999). The program must be marketlead, focusing on adding value to the customer and must responsive to market forces andbe the basis for setting goals. It must be the foundation for problem solving, rewarding,performance appraisal, incentive distribution, and resource allocation (Jiju & Preece2002; Evans & Lindsay, 2000).
22 The African American Male Student in Higher Education Many college bound African American students are from disadvantagedbackgrounds. They do not have parents who attended college, often lack positiveeducational role models, from single parent homes, and are first generation collegestudents. African American students are more likely to be from lower income families,have limited financial resources, have problems with finances and the financial aidsystem, and feel isolated on campus (Seidman, 2005; Tinto, 1993). They are also lessprepared for college, are faced with more problems in college, and are negatively affectedby increases in college tuition than students of wealthier families (Muraskin, 2004). According to Tinto (1993), students come from different social and economicbackgrounds, with different personalities, and pre-college preparation levels. Students’behaviors are modified based on their longitudinal interaction within the collegeenvironment. A negative or positive interaction will influence the student’s commitmentcreating marginality or even withdrawal (Tinto, 1993). The student’s academic and socialintegration is a psychological process, which is shaped through the student’s pastbehaviors, coping abilities, and self-efficacy towards academics (Bean & Eaton, 1995). According to Davis (1999), “African American males often struggle to sociallyintegrate in a community of peers who are supportive and is often confining. Theystruggle to overcome academic hurdles, created by inadequate college preparation. Theystruggle against a school environment that marginalizes their presence and academicexpectations… often their voices are not heard, misunderstood or simply ignored”(p.135). Neal and McCray et al. (2003) found that African American boys are usually
23misunderstood from as early as middle school, because teachers tend to perceive AfricanAmerican culture styles as lower in achievement, higher in aggression, and more likely tobe in need of special education than those individuals who have normal behavior styles.Davis (1999) elaborated that there is also the effect of racism, stereotyping,underachieving in reading and mathematics, low teacher expectations, negative peerpressure, anti-schooling attitudes, drugs, gangs, the legal systems, and the lack of positivemale influence has greatly influenced black male behavior and educational experience. Bush & Bush (2005) reported that a review by the California Chancellors officefor community colleges found that African American males are the lowest performinggroup in terms of degrees earned, retention rates, and average accumulative grade pointaverages. Bush and Bush also reported that African American males are less likely tomeet with their instructors and less likely to participate in extracurricular activities thanany other groups of students. Cuyjet (1997) found that African American males do not spend much timereading students newspapers, do not get involved in clubs as much as female students,and are not very active in student organizations. They often do not exhibit interest instudent organizations and are not highly involved in campus sanctioned activities (Cuyjet,1997). Harper (2003) concurred that African American male students spent their out ofclass time, “In residence hall rooms doing nothing, pursuing romantic endeavors withwomen, exercising in the campus fitness center, playing video games, playing basketballand other sports, trying to become rappers, showing off their material possessions,partying, hanging out informally with other African American males at designated spots
24on campus and studying in the library by themselves” (p.74). These needs affect theircollege experiences, and have to be addressed collectively and individually for them tograduate (Pascarella, 1985). The lingering effects of past experiences are carried over into the collegeexperience creating behaviors on college campuses that are different from otherdemographic groups (Cuyet, 1997). The extent to which the students become involved inthe institutional environment and exploit the opportunities available in the institutionalsetting will enhance their persistence (Pascarella, 1985; Weidman 1989; Austin, 1985).The African American male student population, however, is very diverse and has needs,which shifts based on age group, socio-economic background and preparation levels(Pascarella, 1985). Labunski (2003) argued that educated students, regardless of their background,must be cognizant of the requirements of their majors, should mix general educationclasses with their major, gather information about the major, attend class, and becomeinvolved in group discussions. They should work less than 15 hours per week, attendclass at all times especially before exams, and work on a career path which includesinternships. They must also build relationships with professors, find out and participate inextracurricular activities, have adequate insurance, complain of sexual harassment whenit occurs and do not drop classes because of the fear of earning average grades.The Traditional and Non-Traditional African American Student Stokes (2005) reported that the college population is now made up of a diversegroup of students. The traditional undergraduate students, who are dependent, attend
25school full-time, and work part-time, has changed dramatically over the past two decades(NCES, 2002). The traditional age 18-22-year-old undergraduate students make up only16% of higher education enrollment. Approximately 40 % of students are 25 years orolder and 40% of students studying part-time (NCES, 2002). Non-traditional students on the other hand have the characteristics of delayedenrollment, attend school part-time, are independent and work full-time while enrolled.They have children, are single parents, and may not have received a high school diploma(NCES, 2002). Traditional and non-traditional students do not exhibit similar retentionpatterns at the bachelor’s degree level. However at the associate degree level, non-traditional students are half as likely to achieve their degrees (NCES, 2002). Students with non-traditional characteristics are more likely to leave withoutobtaining a degree and are a greater risk of dropping out especially in their first year.Male non-traditional students at an urban commuter college found that competing jobs,classroom priorities, poor time management, and academic under-preparednesscontributed to the dropout decision (Gary, 2004). Non-traditional students’ energy ismore focused on their employment rather than on school (Conditions of EducationReport, 2002). Non traditional students also fear returning to academics. They struggle tobalance family and school, facing financial difficulties which cannot be remedied by thefinancial aid process (Widoff, 2000). Marshal (2006) found that there are barriers to participation for both traditionaland non-traditional students. Marshal found that traditional students utilize the retentionprograms less. Factors contributing to students’ lack of using the services stem from
26cultural beliefs regarding the stigma associated with seeking help, and excelling is seen as“acting white”. The study also found institutional factors such as peer tutors lackingdiversity skills, ineffective marketing of services, and the negative connotation associatedwith the word retention impacts program utilization. Non-traditional students face similarissues, but as more mature students they overcome the obstacles. Marshal (2006) concluded that in order to improve the use of retention services,the program name and strategies should be changed to reflect the African Americanculture. The use of the “Retention Program” is perceived negatively and should bechanged to “Academic Support Programs”. Peer tutors should undergo extensive training,and universities should establish committees, which should include administrators,faculty, and students to monitor, evaluate and make recommendations to improve theAcademic Support Program. The adult-learner is another group of non-traditional students which is a verydiverse group. They are poorly understood, and require specially designed programs tomeet their needs. They need institutional planning and counseling to help map theirsuccess, therefore, institutions need to understand their pattern of enrollment (Pusser etal., 2007). According to Tinto (1993) adult male students returning to school facedifficulties such as feeling out of place. They are less willing to admit to academicdifficulties, and ask fewer questions when academic help arrives. They balance work andhave family responsibilities impacting their integration and assimilation into the schoolcommunity.
27 Spadley (2001) argued that the increase in the number of traditional age blackmale students in higher education requires educators to design special programs toaddress their needs (Spadley, 2001). Spadley recommended that administrators facilitatepeer intervention to enhance integration. Spadley also recommended that faculty need tofoster a learning environment that encourages participation and nurturing by designingextracurricular activities that enhance learning and participation. Drivers of Continuous Improvement in Retention The survival of private four-year, public-four year, and two-year HBCUs willdepend on the institution’s ability to improve the management of its student services andfind new sources of revenue. Many HBCUs, however, are periodically plagued byfinancial problems. They do not have large endowments and depend on student fees, stateappropriations, and philanthropy to survive (Jaynes & Williams, 1989). Losing a highpercentage of male students is a loss of potential revenue. Reversing the negative male retention trend requires a structured approach thatmust be managed for both short term and long term gains in graduation rate. Thecompetitive educational environment dictates that as service organizations, institutionsmust make an effort to be service oriented, creating an image that will impact marketshare, student selection, donation dollars, and research funding (Jurow, 2006). Thecompetition among higher education institutions requires all institutions (includingHBCUs) to become more adaptable and flexible to the changing market. This will attractthe best and brightest students (American Council of Education, 2004). Deming (1993)suggested that within a competitive economy, customers have more choices than in the
28past. With this flexibility they become more focused on organizations that meet theirexpectations. Leville (2006) concurred that students understand market forces and seekquality education at competitive pricing. A United Negro College Fund (2004) study found that 50% of African Americangraduating high school seniors and 50% of parents consider HBCUs as the college ofchoice, with the percentage rising to 64% with parents with four-year degrees or higher.Black high school students choose HBCUs based on “word- of- mouth” about HBCUsfrom friends and family members. They were more interested in the availability ofextracurricular activities and the schools’ social reputation more than other ethnic groups(Foley, 1996). The brightest black students now have more choices and are recruited by the toppredominately white institutions even though historically black colleges and universitiesare viable options (UNCF, 2004). Better-prepared students are attracted to institutionswith good academic reputations. If the HBCUs, however, do not improve their academicreputation, they will not be able to attract the best students (Goenner & Snaith, 2004). There are also federal concerns for HBCUs to improve their degree completionrates (USDE, 2006). Federal intervention through the United States Department ofEducation program for the promotion of educational excellence for all Americans hasestablished accountability expectations for HBCUs (USDE, 2006). With federalassistance, there are demands for historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) tobecome more accountable for performance indicators, such as retention (USDE, 2006).
29 Quality objectives established for HBCUs are monitored annually through theIntegrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and measured against long-term progress up to 2009. Some established targets are to increase persistence beyondfirst year enrollment, increase graduation rates, increase in six year graduationpercentages, increase graduation rates for students in engineering, physical and biologicalsciences, and improve the efficiency of institutional services to students. These indicatorsallow families and students to rank colleges based on expert recommendations from theDepartment of Education (NCES, 2002). This increase flow of information will allowstudents and parents to make better educated choices when selecting a college (Miller,2006). In addition to the federal regulations, Cohen (1999) states that accreditation isanother force affecting institutional conduct. The Secretary of Education Commission onHigher Education (2006) recommends that accreditation agencies be held accountable forassuring performance issues, ensure performance questions are answered, and showconsistency and transparency. According to Schray (2006), accreditation agencies mustrespond to the demands of the higher education environment, specifically due to thegrowing demand for accountability, reduction in funding, rising costs, the increasing needfor efficiency, and expanding distance learning. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS, 2002) issued aposition statement warning institutions that they will be held accountable for programsand services irrespective of any reduction in funding. SACS in its manual, The Principlesof Accreditation: Foundation of Quality Enhancement, states that they, "Expect
30institutions to dedicate themselves to enhancing the quality of their programs and serviceswithin the context of their missions, resources, and capacities, be engaged in an ongoingprogram of improvement and be able to demonstrate how well it fulfills its statedmission...document quality and effectiveness in all its major aspects" (SACS, 2006).Other accreditation agencies such as The Higher Learning Commission of the NorthCentral Association have asked institutions to implement the Academic QualityImprovement Process (AQIP). This provides institutions with a quality improvementapproach to accreditation, utilizing self-assessment, strategic planning, and qualitymethods (Dew, 2004). Strategies for Student Retention Many students’ decision to withdraw from an institution lies in thecommunication and interactive networks established between student and universitypersonnel. If these networks are working successfully, they determine whether a studentleaves or graduates from the institution (Hermonowiz, 2004). Many at risk students fail toutilize university provided resources. They fail to contact members of the institutionwhen experiencing difficulties (Boyer 1987; Cuseo, 2003). In the interest of retention, colleges and universities must take a proactive stanceby contacting at-risk students, offering them specific services, and working closely withthe students to develop their confidence skills and interest in learning (Friedlander, 1980;Boyer, 1987). Kuh and Associates (2005) argues that student success in an institution canbe increased by establishing performance standards for students, staff and faculty. Also,institutions must assess and reformulate programs to meet students’ expectations. They
31should develop early warning systems ensuring that first-year students are assignedmentors, and have a sustainable advising program that promotes four-year completion.The institution should reward faculty for performance, create activities that encourage aclimate in which all students will interact with their peers. Programs must addressstudents’ academic needs, help students cope with studying, and other non-academicissues. Institutions must promote student relationships with faculty and administrativestaff (Kuh and Associates, 2005). According to Lotowski et al. (2004) retention is best predicted by combiningsocial and economic factors, high school GPA and non-economic factors. The findingsfrom his research suggest that the best approach for designing retention programs is tomove beyond the traditional method of identifying at risk students by GPA alone. Thebest strategy involves students with adequate GPAs, who fail to develop social skill andself confidence. Similar studies on the academic success of students at an HBCU in Marylandconducted by Peters (2007) supports the ACT findings. Peters (2007) found that highschool GPA was a stronger in predicting academic success than Scholastic Aptitude TestScore (SAT). The study found significant differences in graduation rates for students withlow SAT scores and the overall institutional graduation rates. There were also significantdifferences between graduation rates, students with low high school GPA and overallgraduation rates. The study also found that females had higher graduation rates for thecohort studied and students with low SAT scores can persist to graduation, if there is astrategy of utilizing academic and non-academic intervention tools.
32 Levitz and Noel (2000) argued that the first step in identifying and managingmarginally involved students is to identify the student’s academic motivation, examinetheir transition to the institutional environment, and examine the type of help the studentmay need to succeed. The second step is to design individual student programs throughproper advising, with trained and knowledgeable advisors. The third step is to deliver aprogram that is unique to the individual student’s needs.Campus Support Strauss (2004) in a study of the adaptation of students to their environment foundthat the strongest impact on institutional commitment derives from student experiences.The study suggested that it is the collective balance of students’ academic and socialexperiences that exert heavy influence on their commitment to the institution and is moreimportant than all variables. Positive experiences from post-college and pre-college variables preventfreshmen from becoming involved in many negative psychosocial activities (DeBerad etal., 2004). According to DeBerad et al. (2004), universities have to look at thepsychosocial predictors of freshmen academic achievement and retention. They mustexamine psychological variables such as smoking, drinking, health, social support, andmaladaptive coping strategies, because they are related to retention. Colleges must beproactive in identifying potential at-risk students during their freshman year and providethe necessary corrective and intervention strategies (DeBerad et al., 2004). In contrast, Alderman (2004) argues that student performance comes from effortand ability, which is influenced by motivation, the expectations for future performance,
33and subsequent actions taken by the student. Burton et al. (2006) argues that the student’ssuccess in school occurs when they make a deliberate effort to participate in the learningprocess such as studying, doing homework, and completing work assignments. If thestudents are experiencing difficulties, they must make an attempt to seek help (Burton etal., 2006). Persistence through graduation is related positively to voluntarily seeking help(Shwitzer, 1993) As voluntary use of counseling increases, the academic performance ofsecond year at risk students who participated in brief mandatory counseling improveddramatically (Shwitzer, 1993). Therefore, academic advising and support services atHBCUs, should be implemented early in a student’s career. This will create the avenuefor students at risk to be identified early so that measures can be taken to enhance thestudents’ academic and social integration (McDaniel & Graham, 2001). In a study of how student services such as enrollment management, financial aidservice, residential life, extracurricular activities, counseling services and academicsupport services impact freshmen at two private HBCU’s, Hutto & Fenwick (2002) founda significant statistical relationship between the students’ perception of the quality ofservices available to them and their retention. Hutto & Fenwick concluded that privatelyfunded institutions could correct their retention issues by coming to terms with the issueswith their services, and strengthen the quality of the student services they provide. Programs with cognitive approaches such as mentoring, tutoring, academicenrichment, group study sessions and increased communication enhances persistence(Peters, 2005). Non-cognitive factors such as time management, advising, social support,
34team building, and leadership skills also impact persistence. Leadership and characterdevelopment activities showed the best promise as a strategy for improving AfricanAmerican male retention (Peters, 2005). In Tinto’s (1993) reflection on the principles of effective retention, he argued thatsuccessful retention programs should be committed to the students they serve. They mustbe committed to becoming student centered and must engage staff, faculty and students toensure that the students become involved in the institution and have the skills necessaryto survive the academic vigor. Tinto (1993) states that the institution must commit itselfto develop support services and learning communities, so that the students can becomefully integrated into the fabric of institution. This observation was supported by Mustiful (2005) in a study of AfricanAmerican male persistence at four-year private and public HBCUs. Mistiful (2005) foundthat African American males persist because of individuals such as parents andgrandparents who provided financial and emotional support. The study also found thathigh school personnel and institutional factors such as financial aid, support faculty ofand peers, involvement in campus activities and mentors at the institution all contribute toAfrican American male persistence. Flowers (2006) in a study on the effects of attending a two year versus a four yearinstitution on African American males’ academic and social integration during the firstyear, found that African American males attending four year colleges are more likely toreport higher levels of academic and social integration than their two year counterparts.
35Flowers (2006) concluded that two year institutions should make more effort to developstrategies to improve African American males’ academic and social integration. A nurturing college environment is a primary expectation of African Americanstudents, and there must be a fit between the college environment and African Americanstudents’ expectations (Key, 2003). Key also found that there must be a fit between thestudent’s expectations and that of the institution when establishing a quality-nurturingenvironment to improve graduation rates. Similar sentiments are shared by Tinto (2000)who argued that students’ goals must be aligned with the institution, and there mustsufficient interaction for the student to feel that their goals are in unison with theinstitution. In an ACT study on what works in retention for four-year private colleges, byHabley and McClanahan (2004) found that 64.1 % of the institution studied had anindividual who coordinated retention, 59.4% had retention improvement goals from firstto second year, and 38.7% had goals to improve retention to degree completion. Therespondents linked attrition to student characteristics mainly, inadequate financialresources, lack of motivation, lack of coping skill, and lack of educational goals. Theretention programs that were found to have the greatest contribution to retention werefirst year programs, academic advising, and learning support. The retention programs thathad the greatest impact were freshman seminars, advising with selected student groupsand internships respectively. Habley and McClanahan (2004) also found that private fouryear institutions that have high retention and graduation rates practiced integratingacademic advising with first year programs, had an academic advising center, faculty
36mentoring, summer bridge programs, honors programs, increased advising staff, learningcommunities, had peer mentoring and writing labs, and had non credited extended writinglabs.Campus Services Jones-Giles (2004) in a study of retention at HBCUs found other factors that werenegatively associated with student retention at HBCUs. The factors included academicboredom and uncertainty of what to study, transition and adjustment problems, unrealisticexpectations of college, lack of satisfactory academic advising, and competitive collegeentrance scores. In addition, there were college retention programs, unexpected highworkload in freshman college courses, and academic under preparedness. Jones-Giles(2004) also found that a lack of competitive high school backgrounds, parentalinvolvement, personal and emotional factors, financial problems and a lack of self-confidence and self esteem impacts retention (Jones-Giles, 2004). Advising, tutoring, mentoring, counseling, remedial courses, schedule adjustmentand financial aid respectively, are considered the most effective strategies for correctingmany of the issues faced by African American students (Harleston, 2004). A similarstudy by Jones-Giles (2004) found that the most effective polices in improving retentionat HBCUs were screening potential dropouts for prevention and intervention, providingacademic counseling to potential dropouts, and implementing student and facultyfeedback to identify students who are likely to withdraw. Jones-Giles also found thatestablishing policies at the departmental level to handle retention issues and using
37information from exit interviews to identify factors that impact the student withdrawalimproves student retention. Glen (2004) in an analysis of factors that contribute to Texas community colleges,graduating black males found that institutions in the top quartile had specific strategiesfor retention success. Glen found that the best strategies include freshman only advising,offering credits for orientation courses, and tutorial programs, and monitoring at riskgroups with specific retention plans. The study also found that the strategies that had thegreatest impact on African American male retention were identifying at-risk studentsfrom the time of enrollment, and monitoring their academic performance. According toTinto (2000), for institutional retention programs to impact the sophomore, junior andsenior years, a learning community approach must be utilized. This creates a programthat has continued success throughout the students academic career.Faculty African American students persist due to experiences and interactions that occurin the school environment (Latiker, 2003). Frequent daily interactions with students inand out of the classroom impact the student’s decision to stay or leave school (Tinto,1993; Chenoweth 1999). At risk students who persist cite someone on the faculty whohas made positive contact with them outside of the classroom (Tinto, 1997). In a study by Schaeffer et al. (2003), both students and faculty were asked to rankthe 10 qualities of effective teachers. The qualities are: (1) approachability, (2) creativityand interesting, (3) flexibility and open mindedness, (4) knowledgeable, (5) realisticexpectations, (6) fairness, and (7) respectful, were all traits identified as the top seven.
38The major difference between teacher and students responses were that faculty placedmore emphasis on teaching techniques, while students placed more emphasis on thestudent teacher relationship. Students felt it was important to have someone who is engaged in their learningexperience, care about their future, and have a vested interest in their education,irrespective of race (Henderson, Henderson & Hudson, 2002). Hickson (2002) in hisstudy at an HBCU found that students did not care about the race of the faculty memberas long as the following attributes are met: the faculty member cared about their future,had an interest in their education, cared about their aspirations, and cared about theirgoals outside of the classroom. Thomas and Giles (1994) argued that faculty should be convinced that retention isimportant and that the problems associated with student retention are a part of theexperience. Efforts must be organized to assists faculty and students in understandinghow to receive and take advantage of the available assistance (Thomas, & Gile, 1994).Spardely (2001) argued that faculty must be challenged to be not only facilitators oflearning, but be able to accommodate the problems and experiences of African Americanmales. According to Padilla (2000), the perception of the extent that a program shares inthe institutional mission is an important component in faculty participation in anyprogram to succeed. Faculty who buy into the institutional mission reported greatersatisfaction than those who consider the mission irrelevant (Padilla, 2000). According to Pascarella and Terenzini (1991), institutional climate can influencefaculty members if the activities have some rewards. Pascarella and Terenzini stated that
39faculty cannot be expected to be involved in out-of-class student activities if they arerecruited for research and their research brings them more prominence than involvementwith undergraduate students (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). Incentives should be offeredto faculty and staff to participate in the process, and programs developed with facultyinput. This creates a level of openness, so that views from various areas of institutionallife are heard (Tinto, 1993).Academic Advising According to Cuseo (2003), academic advisors are in an ideal position to connectwith students rather than academic support personnel. Johnson (1997) stated that it is thepeople who come face- to-face with students on a regular basis provide the positivegrowth experiences for students. They enable students to identify their strengths and learnhow to use them. Academic advising is the only structured activity on campuses wherestudents have the opportunity to have one-on-one interaction with a concernedrepresentative of the institution (Tinto, 1993). Thus, academic advising is one of themajor social and academic factors that determine whether a student leaves or stays (Tinto,1993). Wyckoff (1999) concurs that one of the key factors that contribute to pooradvising is lack of consensus about the role and function of the advisors. Johnson (1997)stated that advising is not an isolated process; retention efforts must be focused on allcomponents of the university. Johnson (1997) postulates that colleges and universitiesmust build an effective and strong connection between advising programs and the variouscomponents on campus. Credle and Dean (1991) concluded that when the students enter
40college, the advisor, staff, and faculty must establish rapport with them, by helping themwork within the organizational structure, and assist with careers development. Furr and Elling (2002) stated that faculty members must have information aboutthe student. If they know the student information, they can develop profiles to helpstudents monitor and balance their various activities. They can interact on the student’sbehalf with financial aid, provide information for counselors, residential hall advisors,and other faculty members before the student’s problems become insurmountable. Graunke and Woosley (2005), in a study examining how sophomore experiencesand attitudes affect their experiences, found that commitment to academic major andfaculty interactions were significant predators of grade point average. Graunke &Woosley found that in order to improve sophomore academic performance, institutionsshould focus on helping sophomores declare their majors early, design student activitiesto promote involvement, which in turn will improve the student’s interactions withfaculty (Graunke & Woosley, 2005). Focusing advising and academic services along withproviding information early in the college experience will help enhance the student’sacademic and social integration (McCaha & Fitzpatrick, 2005). When comparing student satisfaction with academic advising, Lowe (2000) foundthat the frequency of contact with faculty greatly predicts students’ satisfaction. Loweindicated that academic advising varies greatly across colleges, between student groups,and there are differences in the perception of advising based on the student status. Inorder to bring about a more effective advising system, Lowe & Michael (2000)recommends that advising should be recognized as a high priority activity, should be
41intrusive, and advisors should be trained. Advising responsibilities must be defined,materials must be improved and made more widely available. There must beaccountability, evaluations must be conducted and reward measures instituted.Mentors and Role Models Successful teachers of African American males have commonly helped studentsdevelop an attachment for learning by dealing with student concerns, and have gainedtheir students respect (Ross, 1998). Ross (1998) found that African American malesgraduate because of nurturing by a significant person, and by bonding to a person whoprovides a strong sense of direction, guidance and responsibility. This person may besomeone from church, family, or the institution the student attends who is caring to thestudent. Mentoring is a valuable structured tool that is used to promote interaction betweenAfrican American men and faculty (LaVant, Tiggs, & Anderson, 1997). From theirobservation of mentoring programs in higher education institutions throughout thecountry, LaVant, Tiggs, & Anderson (1997) recommends that successful mentoringprograms for African American men should have a commitment of the institution’sexecutive leadership to have a formal mentoring program. A university committee shouldbe established to identify African American males for mentorship upon admission.Mentors who are passionate should be selected, and there must be coordination betweenthe mentoring program and enrollment management to identify potential participants.Training should be provided for faculty, and the program must engage the university’sexternal partners. There must be an ongoing unbiased analysis and evaluation of the
42program. Recommendations from the evaluations must be implemented to improve theprograms’ effectiveness (LaVant, Tiggs & Anderson, 1997).Financial Aid Receiving assistance with financial aid increases the odds of departure by 89%(Ishitani & Snider, 2004). Financial aid does have a positive effect on first-year andfourth-year retention (Ishitani, 2006), but the attrition rate varies based on the amount,timing and composition of the loan (Ishitani & DesJardins, 2003). The percentage ofmoney burrowed for higher education is highest for students who attend privateinstitutions while those students that attend two-year colleges are less likely to borrow.More than 20% of those who borrow drop out and are faced with the life long financialdifficulties (Gladieux & Perna, 2005). According to Mihok (2005), the composition of financial aid packages are relatedto the persistence of first generation, low- income sophomore students. Low- incomestudents who receive need based loans at the beginning of their enrollment are not aslikely to persist as those who received aid in the latter years of college. Increasing thefunding or frontloading grants in earlier years increases the likelihood of studentspersisting to the third, fourth, and fifth years. This is because most students tend to dropout in the first two years due to the fear of debt accumulation (Mihok, 2005). Allgood (2005) in a study of financial aid knowledge of students at HBCUs foundthat students knew that they needed financial aid to persist. They had minimal knowledgeof the financial aid process and were late planners even though they completed theapplication themselves. Allgood (2005) also found that the level of financial aid
43knowledge increased based on residency. Out of state students had more knowledge ofthe financial aid process than instate students, but they both had the same knowledge ofthe process. Both instate and out of state students were most dissatisfied with the lengthof the financial aid process, the office staff, and the quality of service received. Important information must be provided to each student and their parents early inthe high school years (Sallie Mae Fund, 2004). Parents and students would like to receivefrom teachers and counselors their financial aid information as early as junior high schoolfrom teachers and counselors. The financial aid information is best targeted in venuessuch as churches, civic areas, and libraries and should be placed in areas that are veryvisible to parents and students. Every effort should be made to have the studentsinformed of the financial aid process as early as possible (Sallie Mae Fund, 2004).Institutions, therefore, must focus on policies that better prepare students forundergraduate and post-secondary education, and helping students understand thefinancial options available. This can be achieved through early training, strengthening theon campus financial aid system, and by providing resources such as on campus workstudy and grants to at-risk students (Gladieux & Perna, 2005). Data and Assessment The students’ views on all aspects of their higher education experiences areconsidered a part of quality monitoring at universities and are canvassed by institutions aspart of their marketing strategies (Hill, Laurie & MacGregor, 2003). Students perceivethe quality of faculty and the student support systems as determinants of quality in highereducation (Hill, Laurie & MacGregor, 2003). The organization that consistently measures
44the opinion of its customers will have products and services that are needed by thecustomer and will be able to provide numerical evidence to substantiate the quality oftheir products (Holcomb, 1993; Czarnecki, 1999). Measurement and analysis of criticalperformance data are important to performance management. Data is critical forperformance review, process improvement, and implementation of similar programs inother departments or institutions. It is through data analysis that performance can betracked (Balding Criteria, 2006). Kaye and Anderson (1999) reported that the elements of best practice in acontinuous improving business mechanism should be implemented to regularly examinethe level of satisfaction of the stakeholders by identifying and monitoring their needs.Self-assessment will measure the current performance of the institution or departmentagainst a business model that can be used as the basis for continuous improvement (Kaye& Anderson, 1999). Institutions should collect information prior to the student entering the universityand throughout their college experience. The institution should have information from thestudents concerning social integration, involvement in and out of the classroom, classexperiences, program activities, financial needs, and intention to work through structuredclimate surveys. The student assessment data should also include student satisfaction withcampus climate, instructional effectiveness, financial aid effectiveness, registrationeffectiveness, campus safety and security, and academic advising effectiveness (Tinto,1993; Low, 1999; Furr and Elling, 2002).
45 The data system must monitor the established parameters, focus on the goals andprovide diagnostic information to policymakers and the public (National Commission onAccountability in Higher Education, 2005). Through focused self-assessment, theinstitution can look at the areas of strengths and weaknesses. Institutions can examine theareas for improvement, look at what they are doing great, and celebrate it whileimproving on the areas of weaknesses. From this information a plan can be developedamong institutional leaders, staff, and faculty to improve the weak areas (Dew & Nering,2004). Siedman (2005) stated that colleges should amass information on potential at-riskstudents before they enter and should use that database to create a profile on each student.They should work with the students from high school to enrollment, determine thestudents’ profile, examine the difficulties they may experience, and plan an interventionstrategy to match the students’ needs (Siedman, 2005). Early intervention and monitoringof the student will ensure that the student is monitored and taught competent social andacademic skills for their college survival. This intervention should continue throughoutthe students’ college career to affect the desired change (Siedman, 2005). According toTinto (1993), it is the responsibility of the institution to assist students who enroll andmonitor the students’ progress in the classroom throughout the student academic career. Higher education generates an enormous amount of data through instruments andsurveys, but the system is weak and requires improvement in data utilization (NationalCommission on Accountability in Higher Education, 2005). Edirisooriya (2002) arguedthat institutions lose time and money, become inefficient, miscalculate priorities,
46underutilize resources, and create archaic situation in handling students’ information. Inorder to improve information flow in the short-term, institutions must put in place a planthat integrates available data through technology, training, and an institutionalize rewardsystem (Edirisooriya, 2002). To improve performance and accountability a better datasystem is needed to provide information on the experiences of students and faculty so thatbetter decisions can be made with regard to measurable goals. The Role of Institutional Management in Continuous Quality Environment The role of the manager is to provide the strategic vision and direction for theorganization’s future, and set clear definable objectives. The manager must createstrategies to meet the objectives, implement, evaluate, and make modifications to meetbusiness needs (Thompson & Strickland, 1999). Kaye and Anderson (1998) in a study of senior managers who had responsible forquality in business organizations found the following good practices for continuousimprovement in the business sector: the evidence of senior management leadership,customer, and stakeholder focus. The study found that there must be a culture ofcontinuous improvement, constant dialogue, visible employee involvement, self-assessment to improve performance and processes, constant feedback, and measurement.The study also found that weak organizations did not identify critical success factors, didnot understand continuous improvement and quality, and did not integrate sufficientlycontinuous improvement practices (Kaye and Anderson, 1998). Kaye and Anderson (1998) recommend that senior managers learn how tointegrate improvement activities within the organization and drive the business process
47by keeping the business focused on the stakeholder’s requirements. Managers shouldcreate a culture of continuous improvement, focus on the processes, measureperformance, interpret the results, and use the results to drive business improvements(Kaye & Anderson, 1999). Imai (1986) concurred that managers are responsible for setting the mission andgoals of the organization, establish the structure to support the objectives, plan forproduction, monitor the task, lead the efforts, and monitoring the results of managers’attitudes. Managers’ support impacts the success of any quality program and areresponsible for the training and commitment of members in the organization to thequality process (Imai, 1986). Quality is the responsibility of top management who must continuously, improvethe process by asking questions related to the current state of the organization. They mustknow what the projected growth is, what strategy must be used to get there, and haveestablished measurable yardsticks (Deming, 2000 & Seymour, 1996). The manager’s rolein a quality environment is not for process description, but to improve the processeducating the constituents about the process, creating a plan for improvement at thevarious stages (Seymour, 1993). In transforming the organization, the manager mustunderstand all the component of the system, articulate his vision for transformation,maintain interdepartmental dialogue to reduce conflict and resistance, garnish groupsupport, and maintain two-way communication with the constituent (Deming, 2000). According to Deming (1993) businesses operate in a system that worksindependently in achieving organizational goals. The components must work together to
48accomplish the objectives, through communication among members of the system.Deming believed that in any system there must be established goals. The goals must beshared by all employees and must be effectively managed to ensure institutional success(Lamberg, 1999). Deming (1986) further suggested that people work in the system, but itis the manager’s responsibility to monitor and refine the system to facilitate continuousimprovement. Seymour (1996) reiterates that quality principles can be applied to any system, butthe value will only occur in an environment that fosters continuous learning, is goalorientated, and has a measurable processes for planning, execution, and evaluation(Seymour, 1996). Changing the system, however can be political, but can have legitimacyif the right people are assembled, and allowed access to data in making decisions (Dew &Nehring, 2004). The data collection and analysis must be scientific, can be substantiatedby theory, must create an accurate description of the process, and be the basis from whichdecisions are made (Dew & Nehring, 2004). Continuous Quality Improvement in Higher Education Rice and Taylor (2003) in a progress report on continuous improvement strategiesin higher education found that continuous improvement principles are applied withsuccess in higher education for process improvement, continuous improvement,institutional effectiveness, student learning assessment, and preparation for accreditation.This occurs through the use of Baldridge methodology, state quality award presentation,balance score card, and quality base cost accounting. The respondents identified learning
49assessment, institutional effectiveness, and accreditation as the most widely used, whileprocess improvement was the most pursued at the departmental level. Rice and Taylor (2003) argued that by adopting continuous improvementstrategies, institutions significantly increased the quality of student services, employeeefficiency, and institutional performances. However, for success to occur, senioradministrators must support strategic campus plan, insists on cross departmentalintegration, and a supportive campus culture (Paris, 2007). Negative factors such asfaulty and staff attitudes, lack of resources, protection of turf, complexity of theuniversity system and decentralization, can negate any improvement in institutionalefficiencies (Paris, 2007). Birnbaum (1999) in a study of 469 colleges and universities, who have adoptedCQI methods, found that CQI use was low, and used only by approximately by 13% ofthe institutions studied. Birnbaum (2000) argued that many of the quality improvementpractices adopted by higher education are fads that are not adopted by the entireorganization. According Birnbaum (2000), many of these fads are short lived and are partof the growing management practices that are being sold to higher education by industry.These fades Birnbaum argues appear to initiate changes, but they do not makemeasurable changes and are difficult to assess. In a study of directors in department of financial services, facilities management,auxiliary services and higher education in Michigan, Thalner (2005) found that most hadattempted CQI and continued to use CQI. The study found that the primary methodsreported were CQI teams and benchmarking. The groups surveyed were driven to pursue
50CQI due to demand from reduced budgetary allocations as well as, the need to improveefficiencies, competitiveness and services. When using CQI, the respondents observedimproved service, quicker responses, improved efficiencies, increased financial returns,and improved communication across departmental lines (Thalner, 2005). Similar studies by Zhiming (1998) on effective practices of continuousimprovement in United States’ colleges and universities in mainly administrative areas,found that commitment of top management, quality planning, teamwork, expanding CQIto involve faculty and staff, are some of the best practices necessary for CQI success.Other factors important for student success were: involvement of partners, a dedicatedquality staff, training for implementers, the use of flow chart and benchmarking, unionsupport, a reward and recognition system, established assessment standards, and goodcommunication to the constituency. Zhiming (1998) provided the following “don’ts” of CQI based on the data andfield studies: for beginning implementers, they must not leave middle managers out of thetraining; they must use world class benchmarking and they must not launch CQIinitiatives institution wide unless they are ready for it. He also emphasized thatexperienced implementers should not leave the unions and academic areas out of the CQIprocesses. Finally, the quality of student services and student’s satisfaction should beemphasized instead of dollars saved. Leadership in Continuous Quality Improvement As HBCUs become more accountable to their external and internal stakeholders,it becomes imperative for administrators to engage in studying their organizations, focus
51on the institution’s culture, how the culture impacts the student groups they serve, andimplement the necessary actions for program success (Strauss & Volkwein, 2004).Administrators must concentrate their efforts and policies on understanding andimproving the student’s experiences in order to strengthen each student integration,involvement and commitment (Strauss and Volkwein, 2004). Administrators can help students’ retention by allocating appropriate funding forAcademic Support Services, providing physical facilities, and managing the multiculturalenvironment (Lau, 2003). The president of the institution must lead the way, by playing amajor role in promoting the process, and by making the necessary changes in policies,procedures and systems (Spandauer, 1992). It is through this change that the qualityimprovement process will provide the vehicle to make the cultural changes necessary tochange the educational system (Spandauer, 1992). In a study of the leadership at the University of Wisconsin- Stout after winningthe Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in Education, Seanor (2004) found thatthere are ten leadership guidelines for successful implementation. Seanor (2004) foundthat a leader must; (1) develop a mission and vision that is widely understood andbelieved by every organizational member, (2) develop a leadership process withstakeholders, (3) find the means necessary to motivate and spark participation in theleadership process, (4) have a visible passionate leader, (5) hire or develop inspiringleaders, (6) develop effective methods for communication to the stakeholders, (7) makedata driven decision, (8) organize relationship building activities with leaders on a
52consistent basis,(9) frequently recognize outstanding individuals; and (10) develop a longterm college-wide commitment to adopting the Baldrige process. For administrators to develop a CQI policy they must be knowledgeable about theCQI process and senior administrators must have an accurate perception of how viabletotal quality management is at their institution (McMillian, 1999). McMillian (1999) in astudy of senior administrators perception of total quality management (TQM) found thatsenior administrators have moderately to high knowledge of TQM, have moderately tohigh knowledge of relevant issues related to higher education, but they had lowparticipation rates in TQM. McMillian (1998) also found that TQM participation rateswere highest at two-year community colleges, four-year public colleges, two-yeartechnical colleges, and four-year private colleges. McMillan (1999) concluded thatsenior administrators must have an accurate perception of how viable total qualitymanagement is at their institution. In order to do so, data must be presented on how theinstitutional efficiency can be improved with TQM and how the total institutional systemmust be connected to maximize its benefits. The ability to monitor and assess the processwithin the institution determines the success of implementation. The end result will bewaste and cost reduction, top management support, improvement in the institutionalprocess, and streamlined operation (McMillan, 1998). CQI in higher education depends on sustained leadership over time (Benson,2000). Leadership affected CQI through changes in leadership, frustration with the CQIprocess, a lack of support, waning support over time, not dealing with resistors in senioradministrative capacity, lack of trust, and poor communication. Benson found that not
53dealing with resisters in senior administrative causes loss of support for CQI initiatives.Benson (2000) also found that when an institution tries to address its management issueswithout addressing resistors in upper leadership in the institution, CQI effectiveness isdiminished. Klocinski (1999) in evaluating the success and failure in the implementation ofTQM management principles in the administration of selected institutions in highereducation discounted that higher education had similar reasons as corporations thatresulted in the success and failure of TQM. The findings revealed that successfulimplementers had leadership support from the top managers who gave support and had avision which emphasized teamwork. Perceived unsuccessful implementers, on the otherhand, showed a lack of commitment from leadership, management, faculty and staff, andhad poor communication throughout the institution. The study also revealed that TQMconsumes a lot of time, has incremental results, and the implementation process is acontinuous. The key to creating changes in a continuous environment is to create anenvironment where members are comfortable with change (Freed, 1998). Freed foundthat leadership is critical when creating a culture in which the members see the need forchange and its impact. Freed (1998) also found that institutions shifted their thinking andculture to understand their systems, developed new systems, and improved existingsystems. These institutions understand the connection between the systems and thepeople (Freed, 1998).
54 A similar study by Robinson (2005) who observed the effective model forleadership in community colleges that are committed to continuous quality improvementfound a number of leadership traits and behaviors necessary for CQI implementation. Thetraits were: CQI requires long term commitment (10-15 years), a committed presidentthat empowers and embraces two way communications, the development of crossfunctional teams, a relationship oriented leadership, and shared leadership. Quality Improvement Methods Used in Higher Education Zhiming (1998) said that the success of CQI in higher education is dependent onhaving quality models that are well developed and validated. Dew and Nearing (2004)argued that an institution should compare itself to management systems such as theMalcolm Baldbrige Quality Award for Education and the Academic QualityImprovement (AQIP) project. This is necessary for establishing institutional efficiencystandards (Dew & Nearing, 2004).Baldrige Criteria for Educational Excellence According to the Baldrige National Quality Program (2006), the core values of theBaldrige Criteria used in business is their adaptability to all organizations, includingeducation. The Baldrige Criteria transfers the business excellence concepts to excellencein education. The education performance excellence goals criterion was designed toimprove organizational performance management. Baldrige Criteria integrates themanagement system for education through: (a) leadership of the organization, (b)embracing strategic planning and implementation, (c) maintaining relationships withstudents, (b) stakeholder and market, (e) management of data and analysis, (f) faculty and
55staff participation in designing and management. The results are then interpreted throughkey organizational performance areas such as student learning, stakeholders’ outcome,budgetary, financial and market outcomes, faculty and staff outcomes, organizationaleffectiveness outcomes, and leadership and social responsibility outcomes (BaldrigeNational Quality Program, 2006). The principles of the Baldrige process can be applied to schools since it creates amedium for departments to improve their operational processes (Arcaro, 1995). TheBaldrige Criteria are the ideal point for measurement of a program. They are specific infocus and offer a better understanding of established goals and needs of the organization(Czarneki, 1999). According to Dew (2006), institutions that win the Baldrige awardutilize surveys, longitudinal studies such as focus groups, and need assessment toexamine their results. As a result, leaders obtain data on faulty, students, and otherstakeholders, specifically on the impression of the institution. From this data they canmake decisions for continuous improvement. Arcaro (1995) argues that the Baldridgeassessment process establishes a culture that is student focused, increases cooperation,efficiency and productivity, improves teamwork, improves outcomes for staff andstudents, and recognizes stakeholder’s contribution. Clark (1999) in a report on putting ISO 9000 and the Baldrige Quality Criteria towork in public education reported that together both methods meet the requirements fordeveloping a high performance educational system. They allow the institutions to deliverhigh standards to its students, provide measurable data for continuous quality, andprovide data for systematic reform. They also have a single methodology for appraisal
56and improvement, and improve efficiency through bottom up planning and systemorganization (Clark, 1999). Similar findings were found in a report on the strategies used by states for meetinghigh standards in education using the principle of Deming and Baldrige criteria by Barthet al. (2000). Barth et al. (2000) stated that when these tools are applied to education itcreates performance improvement. These systems according to Barth et al. (2000) createconsistent and comprehensive gains in student achievement including, increase indiscipline issues, greater employee satisfaction, reduced administrative cost, andincreased support from parents and the community. Winn (2003) in evaluating readiness factors that influence five higher educationinstitutions that use the Baldrige criteria as a continuous quality process, found that itshould not be the fist step for CQI. Its implementation depended on a well articulatedvision by the leader who gave it full attention, allocating necessary resources, andbecoming more proficient in the use of data for decision making. Winn concluded thatBaldrige is effective in long term strategic improvement. The method creates positiveinstitutional climate, but its future will depends on the action of the regional accreditationboards (Winn, 2003). The Baldrige Assessment encourages the studied institution to take action (Wallace,2001). The assessment provides a road map for continuous improvement, by validatingkey performance areas and opening avenues to find areas for improvement (Wallace,2001). Faulkner (2002) concurred in a study on the use of Baldrige for accreditation incommunity colleges that the Baldrige Criteria is a viable option for accreditation in
57comparison to traditional methods. However, institutions had challenges meeting andapplying the criteria. Faulkner (2002) concluded that incorporating the Baldrige allowsthe institution to gather and make data driven decisions, and be better aligned the planswith research and accreditation.Benchmarking Benchmarking can be used in combination with the Baldrige criteria to identify areasin the organization that need improvement (Dew & Nehring, 2005). Continuousimprovement through Benchmarking involves finding the best in the service profession,studying what make them successful, and adopting the best practices suited for adepartment. (American Society of Quality, 2006). It allows the organization managers tounderstand performance gaps, measure and identify performance deficiencies, andcontrol the performance of the organization (Czarneki, 1999). There are two major reasons for benchmarking; the first is assessment in whichthe organization can compare its performance in specific areas to its competitors and thesecond is innovation. Comparisons with other organizations create new ideas and insightsinto developing programs and services that improves the institution (Doris, Kelly andTrainer, 2004). According to Dew and Nehring (2004), Benchmarking provides academicleaders with structured methods to examine and apply strategies used successfully inother departments and colleges. Before an organization considers Benchmarking, the instruction should ensurethat it is conducive for benchmarking, prepared for benchmarking efforts and beknowlegable about how to use the information. (Burrill & Ledolter, 1999). It is
58recommended that institutions follow the following steps: conduct an investigation,document best practices for planning, determine performance gaps, project futureperformance levels, communicate benchmarking findings, review performance goals,develop an action plan, implement the plan, monitor the progress, and evaluate thebenchmarks (Camp, 1995; Burrill & Ledolter, 1999). Mosier and Schwarmueller (2002) in examining Benchmarking in higher educationfound that it is an effective model to improve services and programs in student affairs andhousing. Benchmarking discovers best practices, determines what practices are workingmost efficiently, and creates an understanding of what practices are effective. Thestudents benefit by having a better education, because the systems and scenarios aredelivered more efficiently (Mosier & Schwarmueller, 2002).Strategic Planning Organizational planning is a continuous process that includes and anticipateschanges in instruction, hiring, staff and faculty development, changes in technology,demographics, market trends, and the needs and expectations of the faculty and staff. Itexamines opportunities for partnerships and the availability of resources to meet theinstitution’s objectives (Baldrige, 2006). According to Rose and Kirk (2001), planningshould be viewed as a method of achieving institutional objectives. It examines theinternal and external factors that impact decisions, institutional policies and constraints,and the identification and coordination of expertise. A clearly articulated vision and howthe decisions are related to other organizational goals is a benefit of strategic planning(Rose and Kirk, 2001). The planning process allows the institution or department to make
59decisions based on its current and projected needs, and communicate both the vision andstrategy to its constituents (Rowley & Herman, 1997). According to Brown & Allen (2002), HBCUs must identify and prepare forfactors such as the demographic changes on the campuses, technology, and cost. Thesefactors, if not addressed, have financial implications when trying to provide qualityeducation to African American students. Brown & Allen (2002) argued that HBCUadministrators must adopt business strategies and make decisions utilizing strategicplanning, and financial management strategies to ensure the institution’s success. Aloi (2005) in a study of best practices linking assessment and planning foundthat the best practices for using data for strategic planning were having a focusedmission, maintaining a culture of continuous improvement, having individuals who haveplanning and assessment knowledge, having planning as a part of managementoperations and structure, as well as having performance expectations. Faculty, staff,students and alumni should be included in the planning process, reports should bepublished, data driven decisions should be made, and the results communicate to theconstituency. Aloi concluded that the best practice for an institution is to develop astrategic planning process that utilizes data from assessments. Welsh, Nunez & Petrosko (2006) found in a study examining the similarities anddifferences in faculty and administrators’ perspective on strategic planning found that thedepth of implementation of strategic planning, the institutional decision making processand the extent of state reforms are critical for faculty and administration support forstrategic planning activities. Cowhan (2005) stressed the importance of staff and faculty
60participation by arguing that for the institution to effectively carry out its mission, thefaculty and staff must be provided with the opportunity to have early involvement in theplanning process, and participate in strategy formulation, and any future discussions. Thisis important because it steers the institution in a clear direction, and focuses on theconstituencies’ demands.Balance Scorecard The Balance Scorecard is an information-based tool that establishes strategicobjectives into performance measures (Reuben, 1999). It is a tool that translates strategiesinto action through the development of performance goals measures. The BalanceScorecard communicates these strategies to the university and departmental units (Niven,2003). It has a set of performance measures that form the basis for management andaccountability. The established set of measures allows the institution to have specificorganizational and individual unit benchmarks (Doerful & Reuben, 2002). Many corporate organizations have indicators that measure key elements in theirstrategic direction. The scorecards provide numerical feedback to the institution abouthow their services are perceived by the constituency. Scorecards provide the universitythe opportunity to develop a report card that can be compared at the departmental levels,administrative units, and across the institution (Dew and Nearing, 2004). In a study by the Education Commission of the States on performance reportingindicators used by 10 states, Ewell (1994) establishes the following indicators:number of students enrolled by race and gender, student characteristics and ability levels,number of student exiting the institution, student ethnicity, student retention by ethnicity,
61degree completion, rates of persistence, graduation percentages, remediation, transfersfrom two-year colleges and transfer to other colleges, faculty student ratio, choice ofprograms, professional exams passed and job placement data. In education, theindicators are available to the public and used internally and externally at the local aswell as the state level to monitor and allocate resources (Ewell, 1994). The Balance Scorecard provides managers with information to drive their futureexpectations in order to maintain their competitive advantage. It translates theorganization’s mission, measures performance against progress and expected growth,enables the institution to tract the result, revise their strategy, and build a foundation forfuture growth. It also creates a systematic approach to have feedback and enables anorganization to align itself and focus on implementing long term strategies (Kaplan &Norton, 1996). According to Kaplan and Norton (1996), critical business processes that can beaccomplished using the scorecard are clarifying and updating visions and strategies bytranslating business unit objectives into strategic objectives, and communicating andlinking strategic objectives and measures via newsletters, bulleting boards, etc.throughout the organization. Other proposed scorecards are planning, set targets andaligning strategic objectives for measures three to five years out to transform theorganizational goals, enhancing feedback and learning, and improving the capability ofthe organization.
62 Summary of the Literature Review Continuous quality improvement entails a very systematic approach to solvingcustomers’ problems. It is measurable and market forces dictate its implementation.Continuous Quality Improvement places emphasis on serving customers, solving theirproblems, reorganizing and improving the process required for a quality service (Ralph &Douglas, 1994). To meet and improve the quality process Deming (1986) promoted theplan, do, check, and act cycle, which formed the foundation for continuously improvingthe processes in higher education. The benefits obtained from using continuous qualityimprovement processes are: better service to the customer, a culture of openness andreward, reduction in waste, open communication and streamlined operations. Student retention is shaped by dissatisfaction with the college experience andinstitutions must confront the issue as part of their accountability (Tinto, 1993). AfricanAmerican male students are a diverse and unique group facing unique socio-economicproblems, which must be addressed for their continued participation in the educationalprocess at historically black colleges. Their retention is shaped by academic and non-academic factors such as student preparedness, student responsibility, mentors and rolemodels, the campus environment, campus services, socialization and integration, facultyacademic advising, and financial aid. These factors must be addressed in order to fosterthe student’s academic and social integration within the institution from their freshmanyear to graduation (Pascarella, 1985, Cuyjet, 1997; Harper, 2003; Lotowski.et al., 2004;Jones-Giles, 2004 and DeBerad et al., 2004).
63 Prudent retention strategy is a process requiring an understanding of the causesthat result in student attrition backed by a management philosophy that integrates theinstitution’s stakeholders. The foundation is based on understanding the needs of thecustomers within the system, utilizing self-assessment and data analysis, designingstudent focus programs, and implementing and evaluating the respective programs. Theprocess requires data to be collected from the student as soon as the institution acceptsthem. This allows the institution to develop a profile on the student so that proactivestrategies can be implemented for students at risk (Deming, 1983; Key & Anderson,1999; Dew & Nering 2004; Seidman, 2005 and Eririsooriya, 2002) The retention process requires the president’s cabinet to lead the way, providing thevision, funding, facilities, and creating a culture committed to change through qualityimprovement. The literature suggests that it is the role of managers within the system toimprove the process, establish mission and objectives, articulate the vision, andencourage dialogue across department lines. They are expected to reduce departmentaltension, institute training and development, continuously improve the process that iscausing the problem, monitor and evaluate the progress made. Success in a continuousquality improvement environment requires sustained management oversight inmonitoring, assessing, and providing a shared vision based on teamwork (Imai 1986;Seymour 1996; Zhiming 1998; Deming 2000; Rice & Taylor, 2003 and Thalner, 2005). There is no indication from the literature of widespread use of Continuous QualityImprovement models at historically black colleges and universities, but research didindicate that they are becoming the foundation for developing quality programs at
64departmental and institutional levels at several majority white institutions. Qualityimprovement models that are developed, validated, adopted in higher education are theMalcolm Baldrige Quality Award for Educational Excellence (Clarke 1999; Barthe et al.,2000; Winn, 2003), Benchmarking (Mosier and Schwarmueller, 2002 and Dew &Nehring, 2005), Balance Scorecard (Ewell, 1994) and Strategic Planning ( Rose & Kirk2001; Brown & Allen, 2002; Aloi, 2005). These models are not without problems, but aresuccessful if they are backed by management commitment and prudent leadership(Birnbaum, 1999; Benson, 2000; Seanor, 2004).
CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Research Design The primary purpose of this study was to examine the extent of the use ofContinuous Quality Improvement among Academic Support Directors in integratingretention strategies for African American male students at two-year HBCUs, four-yearpublic, and four-year private HBCUs. This chapter will describe the research design,participants, data collection procedures, hypotheses, and data analysis. The study was quantitative in nature utilizing a descriptive research design.According to Gay & Airasian (2003), quantitative research is descriptive and outcomeorientated. In addition, it can be duplicated. This study focuses on established theoriesand hypotheses, is specific, explains cause and effect relationships among variables, isunbiased, and objective. Survey research was used to gather information from academicsupport directors at HBCUs. Gay & Airasian (2003) emphasized that understanding apopulation’s perspective requires the use of a data collection method that is ideal. Itshould involve a large population, and provide statistical data that can be analyzed andinterpreted.
66 Participants The participants of the study were 99 academic support directors from 104HBCUs representing the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S VirginIslands for the 2007-2008 academic year. Six HBCUs were not selected to participate inthe study, because they were professional graduate schools or had all female studentpopulations. The participating institutions represent 49 private HBCUs 38 public four-year and 11 public two-year HBCUs. Purposive sampling method was used to select the participants in the study. Theparticipants were directors who had responsibilities for retention at the respectiveHBCUs. According to Gay and Airasian (2003), purposive sampling is ideal, because itallows the researcher to select the sample based on his knowledge of the population. Italso allows the researcher to personally choose and use all members of the availablepopulation. The email addresses and phone numbers of the academic support directors wereobtained through their respective institutions’ web page. Whenever the information couldnot be ascertained from the institutions’ web page, calls were made to the institutions todetermine the name and title of the appropriate individual. After the name of therespective Academic Support Directors was ascertained, the researcher called therespective Vice President for Academic Affairs office to confirm the employment statusand position of the individuals.
67 Instrumentation The research instrument was a survey developed by the researcher. A section ofThalner’s (2005) study on the application of Continuous Quality Improvement in highereducation in Michigan was modified and utilized to address the continuous qualityimprovement process. Permission was requested and granted by Thalner (2005) to useher survey instrument (please see Appendix D). The Survey Monkey software was used to develop the style and format of theinstrument. Email for each director was input into the Survey Monkey software. A coverletter with the link to the instrument was mailed to each director. Each return instrumentwas marked completed or not completed by the software, but was checked by theresearcher to ensure that completed surveys had accepted the terms and conditions. A web-based format was used for the instrument. According to Schonlau, Fricker,& Elliott (2002), web-based surveys have the benefit of reducing completion time, andthe overall survey costs. Web based surveys also correct names, addresses problems, andcan resubmit the survey to its intended recipients. According to Schuh, Upcraft andAssociates (2001), the advantages of web-based surveys are the data can be collected in auser friendly manner, the return rate may be greater and timelier, data collection time isreduced, anonymity can be managed, the response pool can be expanded, costs can bereduced, and the instrument can be piloted more easily. The Survey Monkey software was used to develop the style and format of theinstrument. The first page of the instrument was designed to include the statement ofconfidentiality, the terms and conditions of the study, contact information and an option
68to accept electronically the terms and conditions of the study. The rest of the instrumentswere divided into four areas, namely demographic information, retention practices andpolicies, the use of Continuous Quality Improvement and administrative support, alongwith departmental leadership (see Appendix E). Within the demographic information,there were two questions on institution classification (i.e. public four-year, private-fouryear, and two-year) and the size of the institution. The second section providedinformation relating to retention polices and practices. The third section adoptedquestions from Thalner’s (2005) survey instrument. The questions investigated the use ofContinuous Quality Improvement in retention departments. The fourth section addressedadministrative support and departmental leadership. Participants responded to a series of statements requiring Likert-like scalesresponses. To score the Likert-like scale each item was associated with a value point withindividual scores ranging from 5 the highest, to 1 for the lowest. The respondents wereasked to respond to question three, seven and eight using strongly disagree to stronglyagree. The respondents were also asked to respond to very important to not veryimportant for question six and no improvement to significant improvement for questionnine respectively. In addition to the Likert-like scale responses, participants were asked toanswer closed ended questions, and two open ended questions. The responses from theopen ended questions were grouped for analysis. A total of 75 items completed theinstrument. Four individuals with expertise in higher education and Continuous QualityImprovement were asked to review the survey for content validity. These individuals
69were asked to examine the survey and determine if it addressed the research questions,and if all the sections of the survey met the intended objectives (see Appendix F).Comments were examined and revisions made as necessary The survey was reviewed and piloted by 32 randomly selected retention directors,assistant directors, and senior personnel from retention departments at several HBCUsand predominately white institutions. The pilot group was asked to complete the surveyand provide feedback on the time and ease of having it completed. The returned surveyswere collected through Survey Monkey and the results tested in the SPSS software.Likert-scale items were tested for internal consistency using Cronbach’s alpha. The meanof the Cronbach’s Alpha test was 0.77 with a high of 0.86 and a low of 0.071 (see Table1). Barker, Pistrang & Elloitt (2002) suggested that reliability standards for alpha shouldconsider .50 as poor, .60 marginally reliable, .70 acceptable, .80 good, .90 and higherunacceptable. As evidenced in table 1 the items tested were within the reliabilityguidelines recommended by Barker, Pistrang & Elloitt (2002).Table 1Results of Cronbach’s AnalysisQuestion Number of items Cronbach’s AlphaQ5 10 0.75Q11 12 0.71Q12 7 0.75Q13 9 0.86Q14 6 0.80
70Table 1 (cont’t)Results of Cronbach’s AnalysisQuestion Number of items Cronbach’s AlphaQ15 6 0.86Q16 7 0.73Q17 8 0.73 Data Collection Procedures Before the survey was distributed, a research protocol was submitted to theTennessee State University Institutional Review Board Human Subject Committee forreview and approval. The research protocol was approved on November 11, 2007 (seeAppendix G). A file was then created to include all academic support directors along withtheir email addresses and contact phone numbers. The file was imported into SurveyMonkey and added to a distribution list. An email was sent to each Academic Support Director soliciting theirparticipation in the study. The letter outlined the purpose and objectives of the study aswell as instructions on how to find and complete the instrument. Embedded in each letterwas a survey monkey web linked to the instrument (see Appendix A). The web surveys were linked to a tracking system that was directed to the datacollection program. To maintain anonymity the participants’ names were not required onthe instruments. However, each instrument was tracked by a survey tracking systemwhich provided information on responders and non-responders. The return rate was not
71acceptable after three weeks and a follow up call was made to each non responder. Thiswas followed by an email reminder (see Appendix B). The process was repeated in weeksix. A fourth and final email reminder was sent to those individuals who did not respondby week eight (see Appendix C) Data Analysis The responses from the survey were compiled in the Survey Monkey andexported into Excel. The data was reviewed to ensure that the data sets were importedcorrectly. The data was coded, imported from Excel, and transferred into StatisticalPackage for Social Sciences (SPSS), 16.0. The open-ended questions were grouped in theSurvey Monkey software. The responses were added to a file and exported to Microsoftword. Responses with common themes were grouped and compared with the rest of thedata. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the mean and standard deviation.Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test hypothesis one through four and sixthrough 10. A t-test was performed to test the hypothesis five. The level of significancewas tested at an alpha of .05. According to Gay & Airasian (2003), the means in ANOVAare less likely to be identical, so it is easier to decide whether the difference was due tosampling error or the difference was significant.
72 Null Hypotheses The following hypotheses were developed from the questions and the review of the literature.Hypothesis 1 There is no statistically significant difference between the retention programs, policies, and practices for African American male students at the various HBCUs.Hypothesis 2 There is no statistically significant difference between the number of years practicing CQI by academic support directors among two year HBCUs, four-year public, and four-year private HBCUs.Hypothesis 3 There is no statistically significant difference between the benefits achieved from CQI implementation in retention management for African American male students among the various HBCUs.Hypothesis 4 There is no statistically significant difference between the obstacles faced by academic directors in implementing CQI at the various HBCUs.Hypothesis 5 There is no statistically significant difference between practitioners and non practitioners of CQI when using data for making decisions on African American male student retention.
73Hypothesis 6 There is no statistically significant difference between the use of data by Academic Support Directors in making decisions for African American male student retention and the various colleges.Hypothesis 7 There is no statistically significant difference between the extent of senior administrative support for African American male student retention and various HBCUs.Hypothesis 8 There is no statistically significant difference between the perception of senior leadership support for CQI and the time practicing CQI at the various HBCUs.Hypothesis 9 There is no statistically significant difference between the provision of leadership in campus retention initiatives for African American male students and the various HBCUs.Hypothesis 10 There is no significant difference between the provision of leadership in campus retention initiatives and the years practicing CQI.
CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS OF DATA The primary purpose of this study was to examine the extent of the use ofContinuous Quality Improvement among Academic Support Directors in integratingretention strategies for African American male students at two-year HBCUs, four-yearpublic, and four-year private HBCUs. An objective of the study was to identify theimpact of institutional policies and practices on retention practices for African Americanmale students and evaluate the level of awareness and practice of quality improvementpractices among academic support directors at different HBCUs. Another objective of thestudy was to also examine the perception of the impact of Continuous QualityImprovement strategies on retention management of African American males andexamine the role of leadership in the practice of CQI in retention management. In analyzing the data collected, it was found that two or 3.6% of the institutionshad an enrollment of over 15,000 students; eight (14.4%) had an enrollment range of10,000-15,000; and eight or (14.4%) had an enrollment of 5,000-10,000. Twenty six(46.4%) of the institutions had an enrollment between 1,000-5,000 students, and 12 or(21.4%) had an enrollment under 1,000 (see table 2).
75Table 2Responses by College SizeInstitution Enrollment Responses Response %Over 15,000 2 3.610,000-15000 8 14.35,000-10,000 8 14.31,000-5,000 26 46.4Under 1,000 12 21.4Total 56 100% Of the 99 surveys sent, 57 (55.44%) were returned. One survey was rejectedbecause the respondent did not accept the terms and conditions. All 56 usable surveyswere used in the analysis, but only 47 (82.5%) of the respondents completed the survey inits entirety. There were 22 (39.3%) responses from private four-year colleges anduniversities, 24 (42.9%) were from public four-year colleges and universities and 10(17.9%) were from two- year colleges (see Table 3).Table 3Table of Colleges by ClassificationSchool classification Number of returned surveys Percentage of returned surveysPrivate four-year 22 39.2%Public four- year 24 42.9%Two-year 10 17.9%Total 56 100
76 Findings on the Research QuestionsQuestion 1What percentage of HBCUs have a center designated for student retention?Of the respondents surveyed 33 (60.0%) indicated that they had a designated retentiondepartment compared to 22 (38.9%) who did not.Question 2What percentage of HBCUs have support services designed to target traditional and non-traditional African American male populations?Fourteen (25.9%) of the respondents have programs that target traditional AfricanAmerican males, 31 (57.4%) have programs for both non-traditional and traditionalAfrican American males, and 10 (18.5%) had programs for neither non- traditional nortraditional African American male students.Question 3How effective are the current retention programs and policies in meeting the needs ofAfrican American male students at historically black colleges and universities (i.e.student preparedness, faculty, mentors and role models, academic advising, financial aid,campus environment and services and socialization and integration)? The respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which they agreed tostatements relating to campus programs, policies and practices at their respectiveinstitutions. The rankings of the mean scores are shown in table four. In order of rank,the respondents agreed that information on campus services is communicated to AfricanAmerican male students throughout the year (M = 3.91). The respondents also agreed that
77African American male students are provided with adequate information about thefinancial aid process (M = 3.9). The respondents ranked two variables the lowest: at riskAfrican American male students frequently participate in mentorship programs (M=2.63),and academic advisors are trained on issues impacting African American male students(M=2.62) (see Table 4). Overall, the mean score was 3.33 which indicated that AcademicSupport Directors where undecided on whether their current retention programs wereeffective at meeting the needs of African American male students.Table 4The Effectiveness of Retention Programs at Meeting the Needs of African American MaleStudents Factors Mean SDInformation on campus services are 3.91 .996communicated to African American malesthroughout the school year.African American males are provided 3.90 1.053with adequate information on thefinancial aid process.African American men’s academic 3.78 .945needs are met by services providedby the institution.There are programs that integrate African 3.57 1.08American male students into the institution.African American men’s social needs are 3.41 1.09met by the services provide by the institution.Retention programs at your institution 3.26 1.05positively impact African American malestudent retention.5 = Strongly Agree, 4 =Agree, 3 = Undecided, 2 = Disagree, 1= Strongly Disagree
78Table 4 (continued)The Effectiveness of Retention Programs in Meeting the Needs of African American Male Students Factors Mean SD Academic advisement focuses on early 3.25 1.12 proactive engagement of African American men. There are avenues for contact outside 3.11 1.14 of the classroom between at risk African American male students and faculty. At risk African American males 2.63 1.14 frequently participate in mentorship programs. Academic advisors of African American 2.62 1.08 males are trained on issues impacting African American male students. 5 = Strongly Agree, 4 =Agree, 3 = Undecided, 2 = Disagree, 1= Strongly Disagree Question 4 To what extent are academic support directors aware of and adopting quality improvement models to their department? Participants were asked the following questions; (a) Are you aware of quality improvement practices in higher education? (b) Is your department currently practicing continuous quality improvement? and (c) How many years have you being practicing CQI? The results revealed that 35 (66%) of the respondents were aware of CQI practices in higher education compared to 18 (35%) who were not aware. In addition, 35 (67.3%)
79indicated that they are currently practicing CQI compared to 17 (32.7%) who are not. Therespondents indicated that 13 (46.4%) have practiced CQI for over five years, four(14.3%) for three to five years, and 11 (39.3%) for 1-3 years.Question 5What Continuous Quality Improvement models are used if any to manage retentionoutcomes? The findings showed that 25 (58.1%) of the respondents used only one method ofCQI, while 21 (41.9%) used multiple methods. As indicated in table five, the CQI methodused by retention directors was strategic management 30 (69.8%), followed byBenchmarking 17 (39.5%), Process Management 15 (34.9%), Balance Scorecard (14)32.6%, Baldrige Criteria 6 (14%) and other methods 4 (9.3%) respectively (see Table 5).Table 5CQI Method Practiced by Retention DirectorsMethod Response Count Response %Strategic Planning 30 69.8Benchmarking 17 39.5Process Management 15 34.9Balance Scorecard 14 32.6Baldridge Criteria for 6 14.0Education ExcellenceOthers 4 9.3
80Question 6What factors are driving Academic Support Directors to continuously improve theretention of African American male students? The study asked the respondents to indicate the extent of the importance placedon the reasons driving the institution to improve African American male retention. Asshown in Table six, the factors were ranked from highest to lowest. The results showedthat the socio-economic implications of the African American community (M=4.49) andthe management strategy of the institution (M=4.15) were the two most important factorsdriving HBCUs to improve African American male retention. In contrast, pressure fromalumni (M=2.88) and online for profit institutions (M=2.62) were the least importantfactors driving the HBCUs, to improve African American male retention.Table 6Factors Driving the Support for CQI in the Retention of African American Male StudentFactors Mean SDThe socio-economic implications of the 4.49 0.771African American communityManagement strategy of the institution’spresident 4.15 0.963African American male performancein comparison to other ethnic groups 4.10 1.091The need to improve the quality of thesystem that caters to underperformingmale students 4.15 0.91Student’s complaints and expectations 4.07 0.383Accreditation Expectations 3.93 0.959________________________________________________________________________
81Table 6 (continued)Factors Driving the Support for CQI in the Retention of African American MalesFactors Mean SDThe need to improve campus servicescatering to African American males. 3.85 0.823The need for revenue improvement 3.83 0.946The damage to the institution reputation 3.56 1.074Response to budgetary reductions 3.55 1.176Pressure from Alumni 2.88 1.14Pressure from online and for profit institutions 2.62 1.1025 = Very Important, 4 = Important, 3 = Undecided, 2 = Not Important, 1 = Not Very ImportantQuestion 7What obstacles were encountered by implementers in the application of CQI to retentionpractices? Respondents were asked to indicate their perception of the obstacles encounteredin their department while implementing Continuous Quality Improvement methods.Table seven displays the rankings of the responses. The respondents rated the statements:the lack of financial resources (M=3.95), turf protection (M=3.71) and lack ofaccountability (M=3.61) the highest. Lack of feedback and support (M=3.24), facultyresistance (M=3.16) and lack of leadership support were ranked the lowest (see Table 7).
82Table 7Obstacles Faced by Retention Directors Implementing CQI in Retention ManagementFactors Mean SDLack of financial resources 3.95 1.23Turf Protection 3.71 0.956Lack of accountability 3.61 1.05Poor communication of initiatives 3.53 1.059among departmentsInstitution culture 3.50 1.109Lack of support between departments 3.44 1.25Lack of openness 3.24 1.125Lack of feedback and support 3.24 1.10Faculty Resistance 3.16 1.285Lack of leadership support 2.68 1.275 = Strongly Agree, 4 =Agree, 3 = Undecided, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree To strengthen question seven the respondents were asked open ended questions tocomment on applying CQI models to retention management at their institution. Thecomments can be seen in Appendix H.Question 8 What factors contributed to non implementers not pursuing CQI in retention practices for African American males?
83 The respondents were asked to determine the extent they perceived the followingfactors listed in table eight contributed to the department not pursing Continuous QualityImprovement methods for retention management. As indicated in table eight, theparticipants rated lack of training for administrators, staff, and faculty (M=4.57), lack ofknowledge and understanding of continuous improvement by administrators (M=4.29)the highest. Factors such as: there was no financial resources for CQI (M=3.86) and it isnot required by the department (M=3.71) were ranked lowest by the respondents. Table 8Factors Driving Non Implementers from Supporting CQI in Retention Management for African American Male StudentsFactors Mean SDLack of training for administrators 4.57 0 .535staff and facultyLack of knowledge and understanding of 4.29 0.756continuous improvement by administrators.Lack of staff support for CQI improvement 4.0 1.00Resistance to continuous quality 4.0 0.816improvement by administratorsThere was no financial resources for CQI 3.86 1.345It is not required by the department 3.71 0.756_______________________________________________________________________ 5 = Strongly Agree, 4 =Agree, 3 = Undecided, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly DisagreeQuestion 9 What are the benefits gained from the application of CQ I methods?
84 The respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which the following benefitswere achieved from CQI implementation at their institution. Table 9 displays the rankingof the benefits gained from the implementation of CQI from highest to lowest. Therespondents rated collaboration with other departments (M=3.77), communicationbetween university partners and other departments (M=3.53) and intrusive advising(M=3.49) as the top benefits gained. The participants rated academic performance(M=3.21) and cohort graduation rates for African American males (M=2.95) as the leastbenefits gained. .Table 9Benefits Derived from Implementing CQI in Retention Management for African American Male StudentsFactors Mean SDCollaboration with other departments 3.77 1.16Communication between universitypartners and other departments 3.53 1.109Intrusive advising 3.49 1.14Response to academic complaints 3.38 0.990The use of retention services by African 3.28 1.169American malesAcademic performance 3.21 0.923Cohort graduation rates for African 2.95 0.972African American males5 = Significant Improvement, 4 = Moderate Improvement, 3 = Neutral, 2 = Marginal Improvement, 5 = No Improvement
85 Results of Hypotheses TestingHypothesis 1 There is no statistically significant difference between the retention programs,policies, and practices for African American male students at the various HBCUs. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) test was conducted to determine if there werestatistical differences between the institution retention programs, policies and practicesfor African Americans male students and the type of college they attend. The hypothesiswas tested at 0.05 level of significance. Table 10 illustrates that the variables associatedwith academic and social support had an overall p value greater than 0.05 level ofsignificance. The null hypothesis was retained. The results indicate that the retentionprograms, policies and practices, for African American males do not differ based onwhether the college is a two year, four year private or four year public HBCU.Table 10ANOVA Results of Significant Differences Between Program Policies and Practices forAfrican American Male Students and the Various CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pAcademic needs are Between Groups 1.10 2 0.550 0.607 0.549met by services Within Groups 46.23 51 0.907provided Total 47.33 53Social needs are Between Groups 0 .53 2 0.264 0.216 0.807met by services Within Groups 62.51 51 1.23provided Total 63.03 53________________________________________________________________________
86Table 10 (continued)ANOVA Results for Program, Policies and PracticesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pRetention programs Between Groups 1.98 2 0.990 0.838 0.438integrate African within Groups 59.03 50 1.18male Total 61.02Information on Between Groups 1.60 2 0.80 0.803 0.454campus services Within Groups 50.93 51 0.99are communicated Total 52.54 53Advisement focuses Between Groups 0.80 2 0.401 0.615 0.736on proactive Within Groups 65.0 50 1.30engagement Total 65.8 52Advisors are trained Between Groups 1.45 2 0.725 0.615 0.545on issues impacting Within Groups 59.0 50 1.18African American Total 60.45 52menThere are avenues Between Groups 0 .69 2 0.347 0.261 0.772for out of class Within Groups 66.6 50 1.18contact Total 67.32 52Males are provided Between Groups 3.68 2 1.84 1.71 0.192with adequate Within Groups 52.8 49 1.07financial aid Total 56.51 51informationAt risk males Between Groups 0.74 2 0.371 0.352 0.705participate in Within Groups 53.8 51 1.06mentorship Total 54.59 53_______________________________________________________________________
87Hypothesis 2There is no statistically significant difference between the number of years practicingCQI by academic support directors among two year HBCUs, four-year public, and four-year private HBCUs. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine whether there was astatistically significant difference between the years practicing CQI by academic directorsand the types of HBCUs. The data was tested at 0.05 level of significance. The resultsshown in Table 11 reveal no significant differences F (2, 25) = .772, p > .05. Since p >.05the null hypothesis is retained. The results indicated that the numbers of years practicingCQI by retention directors is not impacted by the various college types.Table 11ANOVA Results for Significant Differences Between Years of Practice and the VariousColleges______________________________________________________________________Years with CQI Sum of Squares df Means of Squares F pBetween Groups 1.39 2 0.694 0.77 0.47Within Groups 22.5 25 0.899Total 23.6 27______________________________________________________________________Hypothesis 3There is no significant statistical difference between the benefits achieved from CQIimplementation in retention management for African American males among the variousHBCUs. An Analysis of Variance was generated to determine whether there is statisticallysignificant difference between the benefits achieved from CQI implementation in
88retention management for African American males among the various of HBCUs. Thehypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance. As observed in Table 12, the overallfinding revealed p > 0.05 for all the variables tested. The results revealed no significantdifference between the benefits achieved from CQI implementation in retentionmanagement for African American males among the different types of HBCU. The nullhypothesis was retained. The results indicate that the benefits derived from implementingCQI in retention management is not based on whether the institution is a two-year, four-year public, and two-year private HBCU.Table 12Differences Between Benefits Achieved from Implementing CQI in the Retention ofAfrican American Male students Among the Various CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pIncrease cohort Between Groups 2.32 2 1.19 1.28 0.30graduation rates Within Groups 33.52 36 0.93 Total 35.90 38The use of retention Between Groups 3.0 2 1.50 1.10 0.34services by African Within Groups 48.90 36 1.36American males Totals 51.90Academic performance Between Groups 4.07 2 2.04 2.59 0.09 Within Groups 28.28 36 0.79 Totals 32.26 38Response to student Between Groups 5.05 2 2.52 2.82 0.73complaints Within Groups 32.18 36 0.90 Total 37.23 38Intrusive advising Between Groups 2.35 2 1.17 0.90 0.42 Within Groups 32.18 36 1.32 Total 37.23_______________________________________________________________________
89Table 12 (continued)Differences Between Benefits Achieved from Implementing CQI in the Retention ofAfrican American Males Among the Various CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pCollaboration with Between Groups 2.89 2 1.44 1.08 0.35other departments Within Groups 48.04 36 1.33 Total 50.9 38Communication Between Groups 5.54 2 2.78 2.43 0.10between university Within Groups 39.92 35 1.14partners Total 45.74 37Hypothesis 4There is no statistically significant difference between the obstacles faced by retentiondirectors implementing CQI at the various HBCUs. An ANOVA was generated to determine whether there is statisticallysignificance difference between the obstacles faced by academic directors implementingCQI at the various HBCUs. The hypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance.Investigation of the data shows an overall result of p > 0.05 (see table 13). The factorstested are not statistically significant. The hypothesis was retained. The findings suggestthat the obstacles faced by Academic Support Directors are similar among two yearcolleges, four year public and four year private colleges.
90Table 13ANOVA Results of the Differences in Obstacles Faced Implementing CQI and theVarious CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pLack of leadership Between Groups 3.85 2 1.92 1.20 0.315support Within Groups 56.36 35 1.61 Total 60.21 37Lack of support between Between Groups 0.04 2 0.020 0.012 0.99departments Within Groups 59.55 36 1.65 Total 59.6 38Poor communication Between Groups 1.28 2 0.64 0.56 0.58of initiatives Within Groups 40.20 35 1.15 Total 41.47Faculty and Staff Between Groups 6.14 2 3.07 1.96 0.16resistance Within Groups 54.9 35 1.57 Total 61.1 37Lack of openness in the Between Groups 0.48 2 0.241 0.182 0.84System Within Groups 46.40 37 1.32 Total 46.70 37Communication Between Groups 5.54 2 2.78 2.43 0.10between university Within Groups 39.92 35 1.10partners Total 45.74 37Turf protection Between Groups 0.215 2 0.107 0.112 0.89 Within Group 33.60 35 0.96 Total 33.81 37Rigid institution Between Groups 2.47 2 1.23 1.00 0.38culture Within Groups 43.03 35 1.23 Total 45.50 37Lack of financial Between Groups 7.91 2 3.94 2.84 0.07Resources Within Groups 47.98 35 1.37 Total 44.89 37________________________________________________________________________
91Table 13 (continued)ANOVA Results of the Differences in Obstacles Face Implementing CQI and the VariousCollege TypeFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pLack of continuous Between Groups 2.81 2 1.41 1.17 0.32support & feedback Within Groups 42.05 35 1.20 Total 44.86 37Lack of accountability Between Groups 3.06 2 1.53 1.41 0.26in other parts of the Within Groups 38.02 35 1.07system Total 41.08 37Hypothesis 5There is no statistically significant difference between practitioners and non practitionersof CQI when using data for decision making on African American male student retention. An independent sample t -test was conducted to determine whether there was asignificant statistical difference between the practitioners and non-practitioners of CQIwhen using data to make decisions relating to African American male students’ retention.The hypothesis was tested at a .05 level of significance. Generally speaking the result ofthe t-test showed p > 0.05 for all the factors studied (see table 14). The null hypothesiswas retained. The data can be interrupted to mean that there was no statisticallysignificant difference between practitioners and non- practitioners of CQI in using data indecision relating to African American male student retention.
92Table 14T-test Comparing Practitioners and Non-Practitioners when using of Data for DecisionMaking when Managing African American Male Student RetentionFactors T df pData are collected on effectiveness -1.21 37 0.236on institutional effectivenessData are compared to leading -1.81 36 0.857departments at other institutionRetention data are communicated 1.92 37 0.06to institution constituentsData are used for early intervention 1.20 36 0.238and monitoring of student atriskPlan for African American 1.81 36 0.245male student improvementAre made base on data analysisData files are created for 0.87 36 0.91At risk African Americanmales after admission_______________________________________________________________________Hypothesis 6There is no statistically significant difference between the use of data by AcademicSupport Directors in making decisions for African American male student retention andthe various colleges. An ANOVA was conducted to test the level of significance between data used todecision making with regards to African male retention and the college types. Thehypothesis was tested at a 0.05 level of significance. As shown in Table 15, the overall
93result is p> 0.05. Therefore, the hypothesis was retained. This can be interpreted to meanthat there is no statistically significant difference between the use of data in decisionmaking by retention directors for African American male student’s retention among two-year, four-year private, and four-year HBCU’s.Table15ANOVA Results for Differences in the Use of Data for Decision Making and theVarious CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pData are collected on Between Groups 2.86 2 1.43 1.45 0.25effectiveness Within Groups 35.50 36 0.99on institutional Total 38.36 38effectivenessData are compared to Between Groups 1.82 2 0.91 0.55 0.58leading departments at Within Groups 57.55 35 1.64other institution Total 59.37 37Retention data are Between Groups 1.95 2 0.98 0.79 0.46communicated to institution Within Groups 44.7 36 1.24constituents Total 46.7 38Data are used for early Between Groups 3.57 2 1.78 1.32 0.28intervention and monitoring Within Groups 47.19 35 1.34of student at risk Total 50.76 37Plan for African American Between Groups 3.91 2 1.96 1.37 0.27male student improvement Within Groups 49.80 35 1.43are made base on data Total 53.7 37 1.78analysisData files are created for Between Groups 2.44 2 1.22 0.68 0.51at risk African American Within Groups 62.4 35 1.78males after admission Total 64.84 37________________________________________________________________________
94Hypothesis 7There is no statistically significant difference between the extent of senior administrativesupport for African American male student retention and the various college types. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine if there isstatistically significant difference between the extent of senior administrative support forAfrican American male retention and the college type. The hypothesis was tested at 0.05level of significance. As demonstrated in Table 16, the results indicate that p > 0.05. Thenull hypothesis was retained. This indicates that there is no statistically significantdifference between the extent of senior administrative support for African American malestudent retention and the various colleges.Table 16ANOVA Results of the Differences between the Extent of Senior Administrative Supportand the Various CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pFacilities and financial Between Groups 2.76 2 2.64 1.18 0.32resources are allocated to Within Groups 36.21 30 1.09CQI effort for African Total 38.97 33American malesSupport to integrate CQI Between Groups 3.44 2 1.72 1.79 0.84initiatives as of institutional Within Groups 28.79 30 0.96strategy Total 32.42 32There is visible presidential Between Groups 4.25 2 2.12 1.92 0.16support for African Within Groups 34.36 31 1.11American male initiatives Total 38.61 33Resistance Between Groups 0.26 2 1.31 0.32 0.51at the president and vice Within Groups 12.8 30 0.40presidential level Total 12.54 32
95Table 16 (continued)ANOVA Results of the Differences between the Extent of Senior Administrative Supportand the Various CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pThere is institutional reward Between Groups 2.08 2 1.04 0.71 0.50and recognition for Within Groups 43.98 30 0.51improvement in retention Total 46.06 32Departments are held Between Groups 3.01 2 1.53 1.18 0.32accountable for retention Within Groups 38.83 30 1.28performance of African Total 41.88 32American males.Administrators are Between Groups 2.18 3 1.01 1.17knowledgeable of CQI Within Groups 28.06 30 0.94principles in higher Total 30.24 32education____________________________________________________________________Hypothesis 8There is no statistically significant difference between the perception of senior leadershipsupport for CQI and the time practicing CQI. An ANOVA was generated to determine that significant exits difference betweenthe perception of senior leadership support for CQI and the time practicing CQI. TheANOVA test was administered at the .05 level of significance. The results of theANOVA test showed in general p > 0.05 (see Table 17). The null hypothesis wasretained. The results suggest the perception of senior director’s support for CQI do notvary based on the length of time practicing CQI.
96Table 17ANOVA Results of the Differences in the Perception of Senior Leadership Support forCQI and the Time Practicing CQIFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pFacilities and financial Between Groups 5.42 2 2.71 2.90 0.85Resources are allocated to Within Groups 15 16 0.94CQI effort for African Total 20.42 18American malesSupport to integrate CQI Between Groups 0.56 2 0.28 0.30 0.74initiatives as of institutional Within Groups 13.88 15 0.93strategy Total 14.44 17There is visible presidential Between Groups 0.03 2 1.34 1.0 0.91Support for African Within Groups 21.41 16 1.34American male initiatives Total 21.68 18Resistance to support African Between Groups 0.30 2 0.01 0.04 0.96at the president and vice Within Groups 5.97 15 0.40 presidential level Total 6.0 17There is institutional reward Between Groups 0.04 2 0.02 0.02 0.98and recognition for Within Groups 21.73 15 1.45improvement in retention Total 21.78 17Departments are held Between Groups 1.07 2 0.54 0.36 0.71accountable for retention Within Groups 22.54 15 1.50performance of African Total 23.61 17American males.Administrators are Between Groups 0.02 2 0.008 0.1 0.45knowledgeable of CQI Within Groups 19.59 15 1.31principles in higher Total 19.61 17education
97Hypothesis 9There is no significant difference between the provision of leadership in campus retentioninitiatives for African American males and the various colleges. An ANOVA was conducted to determine whether there is a significant differencebetween the provision of leadership in campus retention initiatives and the college type.The ANOVA was administered at 0.05 level of significance (see Table 18). The resultrevealed that p>.05. The hypothesis was retained. The findings suggest that there is nostatistically significant difference in the provision of leadership by Academic SupportDirectors in campus retention initiatives for African American male students at thevarious colleges.Table 18ANOVA Results Comparing the Differences Between the Provision of Leadership inCampus Retention and the Various CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pHaving a major influence Between Groups 5.31 2 2.66 2.44 0.10on policy decisions relating Within Groups 34.85 32 1.09to African American males Total 40.17 34Draw senior administrators Between Groups 6.29 2 0.61 6.78 0.42to issues relating to African Within Groups 14.85 32 0.67American male Total 21.14 34Retention activities and Between Groups 1.22 2 0.61 0.91 0.41success are communicated Within Groups 21.52 32 0.67from your department Total 22.74 34_______________________________________________________________________
98Table 18 (continued)ANOVA Results Comparing the Differences Between the Provision of Leadership inCampus Retention and the Various CollegesFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pRetention is initiatives Between Groups 5.08 2 2.54 2.50 0.10articulated across Within Groups 32.46 32 1.01departmental lines Total 32.34 34Able to attract grants Between Groups 2.61 2 1.30 0.99 0.38and external support Within Groups 39.6 30 1.32 Total 42.2 32There is constant dialogue Between Groups 6.86 2 3.43 2.88 0.07with administrators relating Within Groups 38.11 32 1.19to African American male Total 44.97Staff is motivated to deliver Between Groups 0.36 2 0.18 0.21 0.81quality services to African Within Groups 27.18 32 0.85American male Total 27.54Major proponent of changes Between Groups 4.89 2 2.45 2.16 0.13for campus services for Within Groups 36.25 32 1.13African American males Total 41.15Hypothesis 10There is no significant difference between the provision of leadership in campus retentioninitiatives and the years of practicing CQI. An ANOVA was conducted to determine whether there was significant differencebetween the provision of leadership in campus retention initiatives and the years ofpracticing CQI. The hypothesis was tested at the 0.05 level of significance. The overallresults revealed p>0.05 (see Table 19). The null hypothesis was retained. The finding
99suggests that the provision of campus leadership for African American males studentsretention do not differ based on the years practicing CQI.Table 19ANOVA Results Comparing the Differences Between the Provision of Leadership inCampus Retention Initiatives and the Years Practicing CQIFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pHaving a major influence Between Groups 0.73 2 0.36 0.24 0.79on policy decisions relating Within Groups 26.22 17 1.54to African American males Total 26.95 19Draw senior administrators Between Groups 2.44 2 0.12 0.18 0.84to issues relating to African Within Groups 11.57 17 0.68American male Total 11.80 19Retention activities and Between Groups 1.49 2 0.75 0.18 0.84success are communicated Within Groups 15.06 17 0.89from your department Total 16.55 19Retention is initiatives Between Groups 0.07 2 0.04 0.03 0.10articulated across Within Groups 32.46 17 0.89departmental lines Total 22.95 19Able to attract grants Between Groups 4.02 2 2.02 1.50 0.26and external support Within Groups 20.26 15 1.35 Total 24.28 17There is constant dialogue Between Groups 1.77 2 0.88 0.64 0.54with administrators relating Within Groups 23.4 17 1.38to African American male Total 25.2 19Staff is motivated to deliver Between Groups 0.94 2 0.47 0.42 0.66quality services to African Within Groups 19.06 17 1.12American male Total 20.00_______________________________________________________________________
100Table 19 (continued)ANOVA Results Comparing the Differences Between the Provision of Leadership inCampus Retention Initiatives and the Years Practicing CQIFactors Sources SS df Mean Square F pMajor proponent of changes Between Groups 0.10 2 0.05 0.04 0.96for campus services for Within Groups 20.1 17 1.18African American males Total 20__________________________________________________________________
CHAPTER V SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS The retention of African American male students at HBCUs have become anational concern. On an average only 34% of all African American males who enterHBCUs graduate within six years (NCES, 2003). These low retention rates impact thereputation of the institutions and have long term financial implications for the AfricanAmerican males who fail to matriculate from these institutions. African American male student retention at any institution is shaped by academicand non-academic factors encountered before and after they enter the institution. Thestudents’ progress towards graduation is impacted by their satisfaction with interactionsthey have with members of the institution (Tinto, 1993). Historically Black Colleges andUniversities leadership have begun to understand the issues affecting African Americanmale retention. They have become proactive in planning and implementing programs toengage students, empowering the stakeholders by addressing African American malestudents’ academic and social interactions within the institution. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the extent of the use ofContinuous Quality Improvement among Academic Support Directors in integratingretention strategies for African American male students at two-year HBCUs, four-yearpublic, and four-year private. Continuous Quality Improvement is embedded in theDeming philosophy that focuses on developing a management system that is customer
102focused, data driven and utilizes performance indicators to assess progress (Deming,1983). A quantitative study was done with 99 Academic Support Directors from 99HBCUs. The study was based on nine research questions and 10 hypotheses. A webbased survey was utilized. Fifty seven (55.44%) of the surveys were returned. The datawere coded and analyzed utilizing the Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS)version 16.0. The hypotheses were tested using ANOVA and an independent sample t-test. The hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance. Summary of the Findings The returned sample distribution was as follows: 22 (39.3%) from private four-year colleges and universities; 24 (42.9%) from public four-year colleges; and universityand 10 (17.9%) were from two-year colleges.The results from the research questions were: 1. Thirty three (60%) of the HBCU studied had a designated retention department. 2. Thirty one (57.4%) of the HBCUs studied targeted of both traditional and non- traditional African American male students only, 31 (25.9%) had programs targeting traditional students and 10 (18.5%) had programs targeting neither traditional nor non-traditional students.3. The respondents agree that campus services are communicated to African malestudents throughout the year, but where undecided on whether their current retentionprograms were effective at meeting the needs of African American male students.
1034. Thirty five (66%) of the respondents were aware of Continuous QualityImprovement practices and 35 (67.3%) were currently practicing CQI. Thirteen (46.4%)of the practitioners practiced CQI for over five years, four (14.3 %) for three to five yearsand 11 (39.3%) between 3-5 years respectively. The findings also revealed that the mostpracticed method of CQI, in the order of use, were Strategic Planning, Benchmarking,Process Management, Balance Scorecard, and Baldridge Criteria for EducationalExcellence respectively;5. Comments concerning the application of CQI models to retention management, therespondents indicated that it requires a lot of time, the methods were new to theinstitution, and the improvement plans were at odds with the institution’s culture. Thetopic of implementing CQI was frequently discussed but seldom implemented and itshould be campus wide and be a part of the institution’s plan;6. The socio-economic implications of the African-American community, themanagement strategy of the institution’s President and the performance of AfricanAmerican males when compared to other ethnic groups are the most important factorsdriving Academic Support Directors to apply CQI to retention management of AfricanAmerican males;7. The major benefits from CQI implementation are improvements in collaboration withother departments, communication with other departments, and intrusive advising,respectively. The participants, however, rated academic performers and cohort graduationrates as the least rated benefits;
1048.The obstacles rated highest in implementing Continuous Quality Improvement toretention practices for African American male students were a lack of financial resources,turf protection and a lack of accountability while lack of feedback and support, facultyresistance and lack of leadership support ranked the lowest as obstacle;9. Lack of training for administrators, staff, and faculty, as well as a general lack ofknowledge and understanding of CQI by administrators, and a lack of staff and facultysupport for CQI improvement, were some of the factors that contributed to non-implementers not pursuing CQI. Retention programs, practices and policies that positively impact African Americanmales are a part of the HBCU retention management landscape. The results from thehypotheses testing showed no statistically significant difference between the retentionprograms polices and practices for African American male student irrespective of thecollege type. The result show that retention programs, policies and practices for AfricanAmerican male students do no differ based on the college type. The practice of CQI by Academic Support Directors to improve African Americanmale student retention creates the need to examine, if statistically significant differencesexist between the application of CQI by Academic Support Directors and the obstaclesthey encounter practicing CQI. In addition, the study focused on whether the variouscolleges derived more benefits from CQI based on the length of time practicing CQI. Theresults revealed no statistically significant difference in the use of CQI by AcademicSupport Directors’, no statistically significant differences in the obstacles faced by
105implementing CQI, and no statistically significant difference in the time practicing CQIand the benefits derived among the different college types. Continuous Quality Improvement is a system which promotes data drivenperformance management decisions (Baldrige Criteria, 2006). The hypothesis was testedto determine whether statistically significant differences exist between the use of data indecision making at the various colleges types. Also tested was whether differences existbetween practitioners and non-practitioners of CQI when using data for decision makingin managing African American male students’ retention. The results indicated that the useof data in decision making does not differ significantly among the various colleges anddid not differ among practitioners and non-practitioners of CQI. The role of leadership support in CQI is important when making data drivendecisions, by integrating the business processes and communicating the decisions to thestakeholders (Kay & Anderson, 1999). The results from the hypotheses testing indicateno statistically significant difference between the extent of senior administrative supportfor retention initiatives for African American males and the college type. The perceptionof senior leadership support for CQI also did not vary based on the years of practicingCQI in the retention management of African American male students. Academic Support Directors are expected to show leadership in initiatives forAfrican American male student retention on the respective campuses. There was also nostatistically significant difference between the provision of leadership in campus retentioninitiatives and the number of years practicing CQI. There were also no statisticallysignificant differences between the provision of leadership for retention initiatives and
106the years practicing CQI. The results from the hypotheses testing suggested thatAcademic Support Directors are providing leadership for African American male studentretention initiatives irrespective of the college type and their leadership do not differbased on the years practicing CQI. In conclusion, the results from null hypotheses testing revealed no statisticallysignificant differences in the use of CQI in African American male retention among twoyear, four-year public, and four-year private HBCUs. The results also revealed nosignificant statistical difference between the factors impacting CQI and the yearspracticing CQI in various institutions. Discussion of the Findings The study revealed that more than a third of the institutions have retentiondepartments and have retention programs targeting traditional and non-traditional AfricanAmerican male students. This finding is consistent with the literature. According to theliterature, students’ experiences contribute to their departure from institutions (Gary,2004). African American male students have different socialization patterns (Cuyject,1997; Harper, 2008) and must have programs targeting the issues faced by both thetraditional and nontraditional male student population (Gary, 2004; Widoff, 2000;Marshal, 2005; Pusser et al., 2007). The study found that in general, campus services are communicated to the AfricanAmerican males. This is consistent with Hermanowiz (2004) who report that the decisionto stay at an institution is based on the communication network established between thestudent and the institution’s personnel. The literature revealed that services must be
107communicated to students and the ability to communicate services increases student’spersistence (Peters, 2005). The study revealed an awareness and practice of CQI by Academic SupportDirectors. This was contrary to the findings by Birnbaum (1998), who found that therewas minimal use of TQM/CQI in higher education after implementation, and in somecases was no longer practiced on the institutions studied. Other studies refute Birnbaum’s(1998) findings. Institutions are using CQI mainly in administrative areas (Zhiming,1998), are practicing CQI with success (Rice 2003), and have attempted and continue touse CQI (Thalner, 2005) with the highest participation rates at two-year community andtechnical colleges and four-year private and public colleges (McMillan, 1999). The CQI methods practiced by the various HBCUs are consistent with thefindings from the literature. The literature revealed strategic planning (Aloi, 2005; Welsh,Nunez & Petrosko, 2007) Benchmarking (Mosier & Schwarzmueller, 2002; Thalner,2005), Baldrige Criteria for Educational Excellence (Clarke, 1999; Winn, 2003; Wallace,2001; Faulker, 2000) and Balance Scorecard (Ewell, 1994) are the common CQI methodsused in higher education. In this study, it was found that the number of years practicing CQI is not based onwhether the college is two-year, four-year private or four-year public. This is consistentwith studies by Zhiming (1998), Benson (2000), Robin (2005) and Thalner, (2005) all ofwhich found no differences between the number of years practicing CQI and theinstitutions in this studied. However, the practice of CQI by retention directors was foundto be fairly new (less than five years). This result is consistent with Thalner (2005) who
108found users of CQI are often between 1- 5 years and are new to the process ofimplementing CQI. Continuous Quality Improvement is driven by the need to improve services,improve efficiencies through communication across departmental lines as well as theallocation of resources to meet student and institutional needs (Kay & Anderson, 1998;Thalner, 2005; Paris, 2007 & Lotowiski et al., 2007). While these studies do not focus onretention, they lay the foundation for what drives the need to continuously improveAfrican American male retention at the respective institutions. The study found several variables that impact CQI in retention management forAfrican American male students. In order of rank, starting with the highest, the studyfound the socio-economic implications of the African-American community, themanagement strategy of the institution’s president, and the performance of AfricanAmerican male students in comparison with other ethnic groups are the top drivers ofCQI in retention management. Studies relating to low earning, and the black family (TheCollege Board, 1999), poor preparation and the impact of non- academic factors onretention (Lotoski. et al., 2004; Peters, 2005; Straus, 2004; Jiles- Jones, 2004;Bush &Bush, 2005), the need to improve performance of other ethnic group (Flowers, 2006) areconsistent in supporting the socio-economic problems affecting African American males. The study also found that the top benefits derived from implementing CQI areimproved collaboration and communication across departments and an improvement inintrusive advising. The benefits do not differ based on the college type. The results areconsistent with the findings of Kaye & Anderson (1998); Freed, (1998); Paris, (2005);
109Thalner, (2005); Siedman, (2005); Klocinski, (1999) & Thalner, (2005). The study,however, found that measurable outcomes, such as increased overall academicperformance and graduation rates were ranked lowest by the respondents. This findinglends credence to studies by Birnbaum (1999) which implied that management strategiesimported from business do not have the positive measurable outcomes promised. There are several obstacles faced by implementers of CQI, but there is nostatistical significant difference between the college types and the obstacles faced. Theobstacles faced are consistent with those faced by industry (Kaye and Anderson, 1998)and those found in higher education (Klocinski, 1999; Benson, 2000; Thalner, 2005 andParis 2007). The respondents ranked lack of leadership as the lowest obstacle to CQIimplementation which contradicts the importance of sustained leadership support of CQIimplementation (Benson, 1999 & Freed, 1998) and in improving the retention process(Lau, 2003).However, does not gauge the extent of senior leadership initiative andsupport in implementing CQI which could be responsible for its low ranking among thedirectors. The lack of training, support, understanding by senior leadership, andfaculty/staff resistance to change were ranked the highest reasons for not pursuing CQIby non- implementers. This is consistent with findings of Klocinski (1999) who foundunsuccessful implementers having show similar characteristics, such as a lack ofcommitment by leadership, faculty, and staff, along with poor communication. To continuously improving performance, there must be a business model based onregular assessment and feedback (Kaye and Anderson, 1999). This study, however, did
110not find any statistically significant differences between non-implementers andimplementers of CQI in the use of data when making decision among the differentcollege types. The study also did not find any statistical difference between the uses ofdata for assessment and decision making among the different college types. Theliterature, however, was sparse on the use of data by non implementers in their decisionmaking. Research indicated that the best practices in linking assessment and planningshould include leadership guidelines, specifically the use of data in decision making(Seanor, 2004), proficient use of data for decision making (Winn, 2003), and making datadriven decisions which is communicated to the constituency (Aloi, 2005). The study did not find any statistically significant differences between the extentof senior leadership support for CQI among the various colleges. This is consistent withfindings by McMillan (1999). McMillian found TQM/CQI support and participationrates among senior managers was highest at two-year community, four-year public, two-year technical and four year private colleges respectively. This study found no statistically significant differences between the perception ofsenior administrators support and the length of time practicing CQI. The study also foundno significant difference in the provision of leadership for African American maleretention and the years of practicing CQI. This plays into Birnbaun’s (1999) study,which indicated that CQI looses its impetus on college campuses with time, and is just afade that comes and goes with no long term leadership support on college campuses.Robinson (2005) indicated from his study at the community colleges that managementtraits must include long term commitment (10- 15 years) to the CQI process to ensure
111success. Yet Thalner’s (2005) study, found that that CQI is still in effect even beyond thetime that Birnbaun (2005) recommended that it would disappear after implementation. Conclusions There are two common themes emerging from this study; institutions are takingaction to improve the African American male experience on HBCU campuses and CQI isused in retention management of African American male students. The obstacles andproblems faced when implementing CQI were similar across the respective institutionsand were consistent with those obstacles found in industry and higher education. Many ofthese obstacles were embedded in the institutions, have an impact on customersatisfaction, and ultimately affect retention. The issue of African American male retention at HBCUs has several commonelements, namely, the academic and non-academic factors associated with the socio-economic problems that impact students adjusting to the college environment. The studyindicated that retention directors were undecided as to the effectiveness of the currentprograms in meeting the needs of African American male students. Within the context ofthe CQI strategy, there were institutional problems such as lack of financial resources, aculture of turf protection and resistance to change by factions within the institutions.These issues are not institution specific, but are a pandemic that stretches across thevarious HBCUs. Success in retention depends on how these issues are addressed bysenior leadership and policy makers at the respective institutions. The research did indicate that Academic Support Directors perceived thatContinuous Quality Improvements has potential benefits that can improve the retention
112process. Success in utilizing CQI to improve the retention process for African Americanmales, must be celebrated and communicated to other departments within the institutionso as to improve cooperation across departmental lines. This will require closecollaboration between executive leadership and academic support directors in creatingcollaborative data driven plans that are communicated, accepted, and supported by thedifferent factions within the campus community. Academic Support Directors rate academic performance and cohort graduationrates as the lowest benefits derived from CQI implementation. This creates an issuejustifying the continued use of CQI at HBCUs. To justify CQI implementation and itssubsequent expansion, there has to be quantifiable results to ensure a commitment by theinstitutions’ leadership to the cultural shift and monetary allocation necessary for CQIsuccess over time. This is also important when convincing skeptics, resistors, and non-implementers to adopt and participate in CQI process. Having quantifiable justification for CQI implementation in retentionmanagement for African American males, is not enough to ensure success. There must beincreased knowledge and participation by members of the institution’s community.Administrators, faculty, and staff must be educated on the benefits of CQI in order togarnish support in the implementation of CQI. Only by educating all of the partiesinvolved on campus, will the retention of African American male students be improved. Recommendations for the Profession
113 The current economic events gripping the nation have many HBCU educationleaders keeping a close watch on the availability and affordability of credit for studentfinancial aid. In addition, economic downturns generally have tax revenue shortfalls forthe states and federal government, which ultimately affects the disbursements availablefor higher education. These issues have the potential to impact the financial andoperational viability of all HBCUs. African American male students who leave an institution create revenueshortfalls. Improvement in African American male student retention increases therevenue available from tuition and fees which ultimately increases the financial viabilityof the institutions. For HBCUs to remain financially viable they must re-examine theirCQI systems and determine the breakdown in the retention process. Historical blackcolleges and universities must re-examine Deming’s (1985) 14 points on operations in aquality environment to ensure that their CQI models are aligned with Deming’sphilosophy. HBCUs must also look at their unique culture, campus climate, resources andstudent population to improve African American male student experience on therespective campuses. These issues will require a concerted effort in reversing the currentretention trend for African American male students across the various HBCU campuses. Recommendations for Future Research Continuous Quality Improvements have success at many Predominantly WhiteUniversities (Seanor, 2005). A study should be performed on the impact of CQI on theretention policies and practices for African American male students at predominatelywhite universities. This is important when making a comparative analysis on the impact
114of CQI in retention management, specifically on African American male students at bothHBCUs and predominantly white universities. Success of CQI in retention management for African American male studentsrequires financial justification. A study is needed to assess the financial impact ofapplying CQI to African American male student retention management at the respectiveHBCU’s .This is needed to determine which CQI models have the greatest impact onimproving the financial health of the institutions. This information is vital whenascertaining which model or combination of models is best suited for HBCUs. There is a need for a study on the strategies and techniques used by non-implementers of CQI in retention management for African American male students. Thestudy should be designed to examine the successes in African American male retention atthese institutions and determine if there are other non-CQI strategies that generatesuccess in African American male student retention. This is important in validating theuse of CQI in retention management for African American males. Leadership is the cornerstone of the CQI system (Deming, 1983). It is, therefore,important for a study to be completed on the extent of leadership support for CQI in theretention of African American males. Areas that can be examined are the support toAcademic Support Directors through resource allocation, campus communication,knowledge of the CQI system, and the decision making process.
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142Dear:[LastName] I am a doctoral candidate in education administrationand supervision at Tennessee State University. I amsoliciting your participation in this web-based survey formy dissertation research.There are no known published research on the use ofcontinuous quality improvement by retention departments toimprove the factors that impact African American studentretention at historically black colleges and universities.The purpose of my research is to assess the extent towhich continuous quality management is used by academicsupport directors to integrate institutional resources andpersonnel in improving the factors impacting AfricanAmerican male students.Directors with responsibilities for retention at allhistorically black colleges and universities will becontacted for this study. Your in-depth understanding ofAfrican American student retention at your institutionputs you in a unique position to assist with this study.The Tennessee State University Human Subjects Review Boardhas approved the study. Your participation is important,but you may choose not to answer any question anddiscontinue the survey at anytime. The instrument takes 5to 15 minutes depending on your institution’s retentionpractices. The information provided will be treated withthe strictest confidence, and the responses will not betraceable to you or your institution during publication.Feel free to contact me by phone at (256)468-6640 or byemail at Joetex29@hotmail.com. My advisor, Dr. D. Dunbarcan be contacted by phone at(615)693-5128 or by email atDdunbar@tnstate.edu. Please click http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx to access the survey.You may click the DONE button upon completion of theinstrument to exit. I look forward to your assistance and will be happy toshare the summary of the results with you upon completionof the study. Thank you in advance.Regards,
143Howard WrightDoctoral CandidateCollege of EducationTennessee State UniversityPlease note: If you do not wish to receive further emails,please click the link below, and you will be automaticallyremoved from the mailing list.http://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx
144 APPENDIX B Second Letter of SolicitationDear ,I have solicited your participation in a web-based survey for my dissertation research onthe use of continuous quality improvement in African American male retention. If youhave completed the
145instrument, please ignore this message. If you have not completed the instrument, I amagain asking for your participation. Your insight into African American issues at yourinstitution is important for the success of this study. Your responses will be treated withthe strictest confidence, and will not be traced to you or your individual institution.Feel free to contact me by phone at (256)468-6640 or by email atJoetex29@hotmail.com. My advisor, Dr. D. Dunbar can be contacted by phoneat(615)693-5128 or by email at Ddunbar@tnstate.edu. Please clickhttp://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=VQoM6qYCFGiH44gMipCF4HL57jK1VoPbESVpp0it9Qs_3d to access the survey. You may click the DONE button uponcompletion of the instrument to exit.I look forward to your assistance and will be happy to share the summary of the resultswith you upon completion of the study. Thank you in advance.Regards,Howard WrightDoctoral CandidateCollege of EducationTennessee State UniversityPlease note: If you do not wish to receive further emails, please click the link below, andyou will be automatically removed from the mailinglisthttp://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx.
146 APPENDIX C Final Appeal LetterDearThe research project on the application of continuous qualityimprovement to African American male retention has enjoyed tremendoussuccess. Todate, fifty HBCUs have responded. I do believe that theissue of African American male retention warrants a response from all
147our campuses. I am at this time making a final appeal for yourparticipation.Feel free to contact me by phone at (256)468-6640 or by email atJoetex29@hotmail.com. My advisor, Dr. D. Dunbar can be contacted byphone at(615)693-5128 or by email at Ddunbar@tnstate.edu. Please clickhttp://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=D0DBCPj1Aw7ZGt3IdWdy6g_3d_3d toaccess the survey. You may click the DONE button upon completion of theinstrument to exit.I look forward to your assistance and will be happy to share thesummary of the results with you upon completion of the study. Thank youin advance.Regards,Howard WrightDoctoral CandidateCollege of EducationTennessee State UniversityPlease note: If you do not wish to receive further emails, please clickthe link below, and you will be automatically removed from the mailinglisthttp://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx?sm=D0DBCPj1Aw7ZGt3IdWdy6g_3d_3d.
163 APPENDIX FPanel of Experts for Content Validity
164 Panel of Experts for Content ValidityWilton Barham, Ph.D.Professor of Educational LeadershipGrambling State UniversityPh: 318-274-2509Fax: 318-274-6249Email: Barhamw@gram.eduJon C Acker, Ph.D.Coordinator for AssessmentOffice of Institutional Research and AssessmentUniversity of AlabamaPh 205 378-7208Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgDarin J HarrisConsultantOffice of Quality ImprovementUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonPh: 608- 262-1289Email: email@example.com
165Kathleen M. Immordino, Ph.D.Manager, Organizational Research and AssessmentCenter for Organizational Development and LeadershipRutgers, The State University of New JerseyPh: (732) 932-3020, Ext. 4022Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
166 APPENDIX GInstitutional Review Board Approval Letter
168 APPENDIX HResponses to Open Ended Question on Applying CQI to Retention Management
169 To strengthen question six the respondents were asked open ended questions tocomment on applying CQI models to retention management at their institution. Theparticipant’s comments were: 1. It requires a lot of time, attention, and cooperation of staff and faculty across the curriculum. 2. The quality enhancement plan and the university retention plan are new initiatives. 3. The idea of improvement and innovation is at odds with the institution culture, making improvement a difficult exhausting work. 4. Processes were planned but fell short due to loss of accreditation and resources. 5. It is a topic that is frequently discussed, but seldom implemented. 6. Historically, CQI was sporadic throughout the institution, but now the entire institution is involved and there has been measurable improvement for all students. 7. We have continuous discussions in our staff meeting regarding ways to improve our retention rates for all students. 8. There is no specific retention management model or department that has responsibility for tracking retention 9. I know it will work with the right people in place. 10. The institution should put a major emphasis in African American male retention but none is done.
17011. Continuous quality improvement models to retain all students, African American males in particular will be part of the new transformation plan.12. There is evidence that there is improvement in the quality of our African American male students who entered the institution upon graduation from high school.13. Continuous quality improvement should be campus wide and be a part of the institution’s strategic plan.
171 APPENDIX IFour Year Class Graduation Average for 1999-2000 Cohort at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
172SCHOOLS PUBLIC BLACK MALE % BLACK FEMALE% BLACK GRADUATION %Elizabeth StateUniversity 46 58 53University ofMaryland- EasternShore 40 46 44South Carolina StateUniversity 40 51 46Alcorn State University 39 50 45North Carolina CentralUniversity 37 56 49Tennessee StateUniversity 37 53 47North Carolina A & TUniversity 35 49 42Winston-Salem StateUniversity 35 44 41Virginia StateUniversity 35 44 41Cheney StateUniversity 34 38 32Fayetteville StateUniversity 33 46 41Morgan StateUniversity 31 47 40Jacksonville StateUniversity 30 43 38Mississippi ValleyState University 29 44 37Prairie View A & MUniversity 29 45 37Florida A & MUniversity 27 40 35Alabama A & MUniversity 26 44 35Grambling StateUniversity 25 41 34Norfolk StateUniversity 23 32 28University ofArkansas-Pine Bluff 21 40 31Delaware StateUniversity 21 40 31Southern University A& M College 20 33 25Lincoln University 19 37 27West Virginia StateUniversity 19 22 30Bowie State 18 26 24Savannah StateUniversity 16 31 24
173SCHOOLS PRIVATE BLACK MALE % BLACK FEMALE% BLACK GRADUATION %Miles College 60 60 60Morehouse College 55 55Fisk University 52 67 63Tillman College 44 51 48Hampton University 44 61 55Lemoyne-Owen College 43 48 47Tuskegee University 38 53 47Johnson C. SmithUniversity 33 44 39Lane College 31 31 31Clarke AtlantaUniversity 30 32 32Shaw University 23 32 28Bethune CookmanCollege 22 42 32Paine College 20 30 27Rust College 20 35 28Livingston College 17 41 27Benedict College 17 33 24Virginia UnionUniversity 17 33 27Alabama State 15 29 22Fort Valley StateUniversity 14 35 26Texas SouthernUniversity 13 15 16University of theDistrict of Columbia 9 8 8Albany StateUniversityKentucky StateUniversitySouthern University atNew OrleansCoppin StateUniversityHarris-Stowie StateUniversityCentral StateUniversityLangston CollegeBluefield StateUniversitySource: 2006 NCAA Division l, ll, lll Federal Graduation Report.