Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness in Addressing the Retention of African           American Male Students at a Hist...
CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL      Submitted by HOWARD G. WRIGHT in partial fulfillment of the requirementsfor the degree of EDU...
Copyright byHOWARD G. WRIGHT      2005        3
This thesis is dedicated to my grandmother Vashti James who made thecommitment to change the fortunes of her second genera...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness in Addressing the Retention of African                American Male Students at A...
TABLE OF CONTENTSCERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL                           iiABSTRACTS AND KEYWORDS                            vLI...
Research Question Four                                 69      Research Question Five                                 77  ...
LIST OF TABLESTable                                                               Page        1.1992-1997 cohorts graduati...
15.Retention policy encourage interaction between faculty and          55      African American male students outside the ...
25.Number of credit hours taught per semester                             6626.Time spent on committee work               ...
37. Number of undergraduate students advised per academic year        7838. Office hours spent advising African American m...
50. Retention policy includes provision for addressing                     116              the needs of African American ...
61. Making contact with African American male students                127    through emails62. Number of African American ...
LIST OF FIGURESFigure                                              Page1.Model of institutional departure                 ...
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT       I must thank the faculty of Alabama A & M University and Oakwood College forparticipating in the pro...
CHAPTER 1                                  INTRODUCTION       The issue of student retention is relevant to every institut...
approximately 36 percent entered college, compared to 46 percent for their Whitecounterparts (United States Department of ...
decline is due to the inclination to entering the military, entering employment after highschool, a relatively high incide...
Having acknowledged that retention is a serious institutional issue, efforts havebeing undertaken to establish retention p...
A positive and nurturing environment is therefore significant for the Black maleretention, development and satisfaction wi...
The problem of retention therefore, is a complex issue and requires interventionfrom all facets of the college to make it ...
The objective of each student entering the university is to graduate in a four-yeartime-frame. The university is cognizant...
and increase developmental programs, and academic services were developed to offerspecific services during orientation of ...
completion. It also designed programs to assist students in reducing acclimatization,stress, and make connections with pee...
(Braunstien, McGrath, 1997). Administrators, therefore, must pay attention to thecompatibility between the characteristics...
retention by investigating faculty perceptions regarding a historically black institution’sretention program for African A...
2. The Provost/ Vice President of Academic Affairs and The Vice President for StudentsAffairs – It will provide these seni...
1. Institutional Policy. Clear and explainable university policy that is central to the                        institution...
directing thesis or dissertation, serving or graduate or thesiscommittees at                  the institution sampled.9. F...
CHAPTER 2                                 LITERATURE REVIEWTheoretical Perspective       To understand the factors that ar...
Fig 1. Model of Institutional Departure===============================================================Source: Tinto, 1987,...
socialize and interact with socialization agents such as peers, faculty, and the effort inlearning and developing.        ...
college. The encounters with peers and faculty will help the student decide on career,lifestyle preferences, values and as...
the same institution differ in their types of economic and social experiences. Social andacademic integration in the insti...
faculty must establish rapport with them, help them work within the organizationalstructure, assist with career and the wo...
dissatisfaction with access to school information, dissatisfaction with quality ofeducation, and the feeling of institutio...
activities or report that college is helping them to make academic progress. Requiringthese students to participate in rem...
faculty who has made contact with them outside of the classroom. This becomes moreapparent when it is embedded into the in...
The Impact of Faculty Support       Bandura’s (1997) theory of self-efficacy postulates that problems are affected byenvir...
sent notes, made phone calls, visited advisee, discussed dropping out, emphasized classattendance, and referred advisees t...
concern and behavior, (2) clout and credibility within the institution decision mechanism,and (3) time to attend regularly...
Research has shown that faculty influence affects retention of students more thanany other group and is a good predictor o...
Berger (1996) indicated that various forms of involvement did influence studentsperceptions of institutional support and p...
a historically black college, a conflict can arise between racial uplift goals of working toimprove and advance the condit...
professional life. Female subjects reported lower satisfaction with their professional lives,reported a greater sense of i...
by faculty in most critical retention discussions, female faculty perception andparticipation will be affected. If there i...
forty. With a further decrease in most state appropriation for higher education, faculty atHistorically Black Colleges and...
Plane and Jacob (2000) also maintained that time management is generally seenas effective when individuals can control the...
case of full- time faculty members. The study concluded that tenured faculty memberspublish more, teach more classes, serv...
The literature cited showed that:1.       Faculty participation in retention programs is impacted by clearly         defin...
work together in their different dimensions to improve African                 American male student retention.       The ...
Chapter 3                                      MethodologyIntroduction       The purpose of the study is to contribute to ...
Table 2. Headcount of full-time faculty by race and gender, 2003-2004=====================================================...
Table 3. (continued) ================================================================                                     ...
A questionnaire was developed specifically for this study. The developmentalprocess of the instrument involved:         (a...
Table 4. Relationship between research questions and items in questionnaireResearch Questions                             ...
3.   faculty perceptions of institutional policy towards retention of African            American males students,       4....
A record sheet was developed and use to record the department name, range of surveysdistributed, number of surveys distrib...
5.   During the third week of April, 280 phone calls were made to faculty by the        investigator encouraging their par...
60
Table 5. Faculty Data Collection Summary                                                                                 P...
Reliability and Validity        The instrument was field tested at a Historically Black four-year private college.A letter...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
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Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
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Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
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Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
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Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
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Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness  in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at  a Historically...
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A Thesis
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree Education Specialist
in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Leadership
in the School of Graduate Studies


Alabama A & M University
Normal, Alabama 35762

May 2005

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Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at a Historically Black College

  1. 1. Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at a Historically Black College by Howard G. Wright A Thesis Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Education Specialist in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Leadership in the School of Graduate Studies Alabama A & M University Normal, Alabama 35762 May 2005 1
  2. 2. CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL Submitted by HOWARD G. WRIGHT in partial fulfillment of the requirementsfor the degree of EDUCATION SPECIALIST with a concentration in HIGHEREDUCATION ADMINISTRATION. Accepted on behalf of the Faculty of the Graduate School by the ThesisCommittee: ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ Major Advisor__________________________ Dean School of Graduate Studies___________________________ Date 2
  3. 3. Copyright byHOWARD G. WRIGHT 2005 3
  4. 4. This thesis is dedicated to my grandmother Vashti James who made thecommitment to change the fortunes of her second generation through education. It isthrough her vision that a new generation of college educated professionals have risenabove the status quo set for children of an agrain society. 4
  5. 5. Faculty Perceptions of the Effectiveness in Addressing the Retention of African American Male Students at Alabama A & M UniversityWright, Howard, G., Ed.S. Alabama A & M University, 2004, 155 pp.Thesis Advisor: Dr Phillip L. Redrick The study examined faculty perceptions regarding the retention of AfricanAmerican male students at Alabama A & M University. Using a 38-item questionnaire,106 faculty members participated in a campus-wide survey in the fall semester of the2004 Academic Year. The instrument examined faculty perceptions of the effectiveness ofinstitutional policy, the effectiveness of institutional support, the effect of workload onthe perceptions to institutional effectiveness, knowledge of institutional retentionprograms for African American Males, and faculty perceptions of the effectiveness of theretention program based on to race, gender, age, years of teaching, academic rank andacademic advising. Faculty in general was neutral on the effectiveness of institutionalpolicy, and support, revealed marginal knowledge of the mechanism of institutionalprograms for African American male students. Their perceptions were consistentirrespective of gender, age, years of teaching, academic rank and academic advisement.Based on the data revealed, it is recommended that (1) the study is replicated at a privateHistorically Black College or University, (2) the study be replicated at a predominatelyWhite institution, (3) a study be conducted of African American males’ perception ofinstitutional program targeting their retention, and (4) a comparative analysis between theretention results and the allocation of resources.KEYWORDS: retention, faculty, institutional effectiveness, African American malestudents, Historically Black Colleges and Universities 5
  6. 6. TABLE OF CONTENTSCERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL iiABSTRACTS AND KEYWORDS vLIST OF TABLES viiiLIST OF FIGURES xiiiACKNOWLEDGEMENT xivCHAPTER1. INTRODUCTION 1 Background and significance 6 Statement of the problem 10 Purpose of the study 10 Research questions 11 Need for the study 12 Limitations of the study 12 Definition of terms 132. LITERATURE REVIEW 153. METHODOLOGY Introduction 37 Population 37 Sampling method 39 Research Instrument 39 Research Procedures and Design 42 Reliability and Validity 45 Statistical Method 46 4. PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA 47 Introduction 47 Profile of Participants 47 Research Question One 51 Research Question Two 59 Research Question Three 65 6
  7. 7. Research Question Four 69 Research Question Five 77 5.DISCUSSIONS, CONCLUSIONS, IMPLICATIONS, 83 AND RECOMMENDATIONS Discussions 83 Conclusion 88 Implications 88 Recommandations 90 APPENDICESA.Letter of Request Provost/Vice President 91 B.Letter of Request Vice President Oakwood College 93 C.Letter to Request Oakwood College Faculty 95 D.Letter of Request to Deans 96 E.Letter of Request to Faculty Members 97 F.Follow-Up Letter to Faculty Members 98 G.Research Instrument 99 H.Variable Description 97 I.Summary of Cross Tab and Chi Square 108 J.Frequency Table for Questionnaires 137 REFERENCES 149 VITA 7
  8. 8. LIST OF TABLESTable Page 1.1992-1997 cohorts graduation rates for African American 8 males/females at Alabama A & M University.2.Full time faculty by race and gender 383.Faculty by schools and department 384.Relationship between research questions and 41 questionnaire items5. Date collection summary 456. Age and gender 487.Tenure status 488.Years of teaching 499. Academic rank of respondents 4910.Courses taught 5011.Number of undergraduate African American male 50 students advised per academic year12.School affiliation 5113.Retention policy clearly communicated and understood 5314.Retention program aligned with policy and mission 54 8
  9. 9. 15.Retention policy encourage interaction between faculty and 55 African American male students outside the classroom 16.Program encourage faculty and staff to work collaboratively 56 to increase African American male students. Page Table 17. Retention policy is aligned with the goals 57 18.Retention policy addresses the academic, 58 social, cultural environment essential for African American male retention19.Retention policy addresses social and 59 economic background of African American male students 20.The program include provision for addressing the needs of African American male students 61 21. The institution allocates financial resources 62 to African American male students support 22.Freshman/new student orientation includes segments that addresses the need of African American male students 63 23.Retention program encourages parental involvement 64 with African American male students 24.The institution recognizes and rewards 65 efforts of faculty to improve the retention of African American male students 9
  10. 10. 25.Number of credit hours taught per semester 6626.Time spent on committee work 6727.Percentage of time spent interacting with African 68 American male students outside of classroom28.Number of publications the past two years 6929.The relationship between perceived work-loads 70 and institutional effectiveness30.Training for faculty to address the problems and 71 concerns of African American male students31.I am cognizant of the collegiate problems 72 of African American male studentsTable Page32.I am provided with an early alert on African American male 73students who are having academic, social and other difficulties33.I am provided with information regarding individual and 74institutional services to assist African American male students34.Institution tracking system allows for identification and monitoring 75of African American male students progress35.I am able to make contact with African American male students 76through telephone calls36.I am able to make contact with African American male students 77through emails 10
  11. 11. 37. Number of undergraduate students advised per academic year 7838. Office hours spent advising African American male students per week 7939.I use my advisement time to help African American male students 80with personal and career goals40.I provide African American Male students with information 81 that helps them make decisions concerning their major41.I frequently refer African American 82 male advisees to counselors and tutors42.I meet informally with students African American 8243.Retention policy is clearly communicated and understood 10944.Retention policy is aligned with policy and mission 11045.Retention policy encourages interaction between faculty and African American male students outside the classroom 11146. Program encourages faculty and staff to work collaboratively to increase African American male student retention 11247. Retention policy is aligned with the goals of 113 African American male studentsTable Page48. Relationship between retention policy and academic, social 114 and cultural environment49.Relationship between retention policy and social and economic 115background of African American male students 11
  12. 12. 50. Retention policy includes provision for addressing 116 the needs of African American male students 51. Relationship between retention policy, financial resource 117 allocation 52.Relationship between retention policy and the inclusion of 118 segments for African American male freshman/new student at orientation 53. Relationship between retention policy and 119 parental involvement with African American male students 54.Relationship between retention policy rewarding 120 and recognizing faculty efforts to improve the retention of African American male students 55.Institution provides training for faculty to address the 121 problems and concerns of African American male students 56.Cognizant of the problems of African American male student 122 57. Provision with early alert on African American male students 123 who are having social and academic difficulties 58. Information is provided on services and individuals to assist African 124 American male students 59. The institution’s tracking system allows for monitoring 125 African American male students progress 60. I am able to make contact with African American male students 126 through telephone calls and selected variablesTable Page 12
  13. 13. 61. Making contact with African American male students 127 through emails62. Number of African American male undergraduate 128 students advised per academic year63. Office hours spent advising African American male students 12964. Using advisement time to help African American male 130 students with their personal and career goals65.Providing African American male students with information that helps them make decisions concerning their majors 13166. Referring African American male students advisees to tutors 13267. Meeting informally with African American male students I advise 13368. Collapsing Values 134 13
  14. 14. LIST OF FIGURESFigure Page1.Model of institutional departure 162. Model of undergraduate socialization 173. Weidman’s model of undergraduate socialization 18 14
  15. 15. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I must thank the faculty of Alabama A & M University and Oakwood College forparticipating in the project and for the insight and knowledge shared on the project.Special thanks to Dr. Phillip L Redrick, my thesis and academic advisor, for not onlyproviding guidance throughout the thesis experience, but for exposing me to theintricacies of higher education administration. I must also extend my gratitude to the other members of my committee, Dr.Victoria W. Husley, Dr. James H. Stewart and Dr. D. Derrick Davis for the valuableinsights and continuous encouragement. Special thanks also must be extended to Dr.William B. Gile and other members of the faculty of Curriculum, Teaching andEducational Leadership for sharing their thoughts and experiences about educationadministration. Thanks must also be extended to the staff of Institutional Research notably, Dr.Subodh Shrama for his assistance, and Dr Leatha Bennett from the Office of Retentionand Support for her encouragement and support. My heart goes out to my family, grandmother Vashti James who instilled theimportance of a proper education. Also to Orlethia for enduring my countless hours fromhome, for understanding my aspirations and endeavors and supporting them. To mychildren Andrea, Rojae and Georgiana for giving daddy time to work undisturbed. 15
  16. 16. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The issue of student retention is relevant to every institution of higher learning,Black or predominantly White. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs),however, because of their unique mission in providing educational opportunities to allstudents of African descent, have opted to attract and enroll a wide range of students fromvarious socio-economic and academic backgrounds, many of whom would not have metthe criteria for acceptance at predominately white institutions (Wilson, 2000). Historically Black Colleges and Universities are becoming an increasing optionfor many Black students. These institutions constitute only three percent of Americanhigher education; they educate 24 percent of all African American students enrolled infour-year colleges, and award 24 percent of all baccalaureate degrees earned nationally.In terms of gender, however, the percentage of male students at HBCUs has decreased inrecent years from a high of 47 percent in 1976 to approximately 40 percent in 1999-2000,while the percentage of Black women has risen significantly to over 60 percent for thesame period (Wenglinsky, 1999). African American males face several problems and hardships which affect everyaspect of their lives (Noguera, 1997). The national high school dropout rate in 1998 forAfrican Americans ages 18-21 was 19 percent and 14.3 percent for ages 22-24, with athird of the states reporting dropout rates of higher percentages. Of the 1.7 millionAfrican Americans males between the ages of 18-24 that completed high school, 16
  17. 17. approximately 36 percent entered college, compared to 46 percent for their Whitecounterparts (United States Department of Commerce, 1997). The National Collegiate Athletics Association (2003) graduation report forDivision 1 HBCUs reported that the four-year graduation rate class average for AfricanAmerican males was 29 percent, showing variations of a high of 42 percent at HamptonUniversity to a low of nine percent at Texas Southern University. More students,however, are completing their degrees in five to six years rather than the traditional fouryears. This is a completion rate of 34 percent compared to 43 percent for their Whitecounterparts (United States Department Commerce, 1997). According to Davis (1999), the effects of racism, stereotyping, thedisproportionate placing of African American males in special education, underachievement in reading and mathematics, low teacher expectations, negative peerpressure, anti-schooling attitudes, drugs, gangs, the criminal justice system and the lackof positive Black male influence in the home and schools have created enormous strainon the psyche of Black male students. Many of these issues become unresolved in highschool and migrate with the student into the college experience, creating problems inadjusting to the pressures and expectations of college life. Furr and Elling’s (2002)research conclude that African American males come to college under- prepared for theexperience. They wrestle with adjustment expectations, as well as behavior andresponsibility issues. The result is fewer African American males earning their degreesand completing their programs. Wilson (2000) stated that African American males are not choosing to pursuehigher education at rates comparable to females. He further suggested stated that the 17
  18. 18. decline is due to the inclination to entering the military, entering employment after highschool, a relatively high incident of incarceration, and displays a lack of familiarity withthe college environment. He concludes that colleges are aware of the problems thatcontribute to the decline in male enrollment but cannot create gender specific programsdue to court challenges to race and gender specific issues.Enrollment in college after highschool is the expected transition for most students as a means to improve their social,economic and occupational standing; an investment, which usually pays off in the future.For all demographic groups, workers who have completed at least their baccalaureatedegree are expected to earn over their lifetime in excess of over $1.0 million more thanthose with a high school diploma (College Board, 2003). Graduation from college, therefore, has financial implications over an individual’slifetime. This creates long-term economic problems that have social and politicalconsequences for society as it alters the productive future and social dynamics of theBlack family (Davis, 1999). Poor retention rates also have other effects. It has negativeimplications for the students who drop out, the institution’s reputation is compromisedand revenues, which could be generated for academic, and student services, are lost(Tinto, 1993). Many administrators at HBCUs over the years have not had retention as aninstitutional priority because their focus was on increased enrollment so as to reflectincreases in state budgetary allocations (Hurd, 2000). They have recognized that in orderto improve retention rates on their campuses it will take a collective responsibility tonurture the psyche of the African American male by creating better college experiencesthat address their needs (Davis, 1999). 18
  19. 19. Having acknowledged that retention is a serious institutional issue, efforts havebeing undertaken to establish retention projects at most Historically Black Colleges andUniversities by making retention a part of their institutional mission. They haveestablished institutional strategies such as academic support services, remediation,counseling and retention centers. These programs are aimed at developing academicskills through remediation, social skills development and providing financial assistance(Chenoweth, 1999). While there are improvements in the freshman cohorts at most institutions, themajority still struggle with retention of Black males with rather discouraging completionrates (Chenoweth, 1999). According to Nittie et al (1994) the “fade out effect” hastrapped many institutions in which students at risk are asked to participate in programs inwhich they have made significant improvements only to have these gains negated whenthey move out of the programs. Successful teachers of African American males have commonly helped studentsdevelop an attachment for learning by dealing with student concerns, and have gainedtheir students respect. It is in developing personal alliances and relationships with theirstudents that they establish behavioral and academic standards. In the process they havedeveloped these students socially and emotionally by teaching self-confidence, attitudedevelopment, leadership skills and responsibility for self and others. These teachers notonly have the required pedagogical skills to teach these students but also posses characterbuilding traits which are necessary for these student’s survival (Davis, 1999). Foster andReele (2000, p. 12) state that “it is the style of teaching which requires an authoritativeparenting style which integrates acceptance, involvement, firm control and respect”. 19
  20. 20. A positive and nurturing environment is therefore significant for the Black maleretention, development and satisfaction with college. For faculty to truly change towarda student centered professional retention mentality, educational planners have to placehigh value on programs that improve retention and give staff the time and reward toinvest the effort to maximize the outcomes (Cuseo, 2003). According to Lidholm (2002),“program mangers have to also take into consideration the compatibility between thecharacteristics of faculty and the attributes of their work environment. A sense of fitbetween faculty and their institution is important, because faculty perceptions andbehavior are known to affect their work environment” (p. 224). According to Lee, Letiz, Noel, and Saluri (1985) a major source of resistance tochanging retention programs on campuses is faculty misconception of retention efforts.They further postulate that “faculty is a critical part of any retention program but theirefforts should not be assumed, as they are subjected to a wide variety of pulls, whichinvolve investment of their time. They will select what they want to be involved with, towhat extent, and will give priority to those tasks that carry the greatest weight in thereward system” (p. 399). The needs of a diversified African American male student population areconstantly shifting with students of different age groups, socioeconomic backgrounds andpreparation levels. They bring to college different variables that affect their collegeexperiences, which have to be addressed collectively or individually for them to graduate(Pascarella, 1985). For African American males, their plight is of serious concern whichwill require evaluation of strategies employed and solutions found to ensure that themajority of African American male students graduate in five to six years. 20
  21. 21. The problem of retention therefore, is a complex issue and requires interventionfrom all facets of the college to make it a success. Faculty and program managers have towork together on the same strategic plan, having a common understanding of thedynamics of at risk students (Chenoweth, 1999).Background and Significance Alabama A & M University (AAMU) was organized through the effort of an exslave in 1875 and became a land-grant college with the passing of the Morrill Act of1890. Alabama A & M University is located in Huntsville, a city of 186, 0000 residents,with an enrollment of over 6,000 students during the 2003-2004 school year. It definesitself as a center of knowledge through teaching and research, and provides baccalaureateand graduate degrees, including Ph.D. degrees. It also provides vocational training andpublic service in the form of agricultural extension as part of its land granting mandate(Alabama A & M University, 2001). The admission process is designed to accommodate students with differenteducational backgrounds. As part of its mission, the institution;1. Commits itself to the provision of a comprehensive program designed to meet thechallenges of the larger community and for providing programs necessary to adequatelyaddress the major needs and problems of capable students who have experienced limitedaccess to education;2. provides excellence in education and a scholarly environment in which inquiry anddiscriminating minds may flourish; and3. provides programs to adequately address the major needs and problems of capablestudents who have had limited access to education. 21
  22. 22. The objective of each student entering the university is to graduate in a four-yeartime-frame. The university is cognizant of its role in helping students to graduate withinthis time frame, and the university examined the various factors contributing to them notmeeting those objectives. In recognition of its role in assisting the various cohorts ingraduating as scheduled , a study was conducted by Alabama A & M University in1986-87 to examine the factors that contributed to student attrition. A report, Increasing Student Success: A Campus Wide Retention Plan, (AlabamaA& M University, 1988) was developed by a task force on student retention. From thisreport a strategic academic plan was developed. The model had four areas of attentionwhich included the following components: (a) academic advisement center to addressacademic, social and psychological needs, (b) tutorial and referral service, (c) keyadvisors (school level), and (e) major /academic advisors. During the early nineties, data from the Office of Counseling and StudentDevelopment indicated that the greatest attrition rate was occurring in the freshman tojunior years. To correct the situation, the university revised and improved its freshmanseminar and new student orientation program to reflect the skills necessary for collegesurvival. It also improved its learning community experience by instituting mandatorycampus residence for all freshmen living outside the city of Huntsville. The livingfacilities were also upgraded to make them more students friendly and equipped withstudy halls and computer labs. The institution also expanded University College, the entry unit for all freshmenand first-time students, to provide advisement and counseling, and for transfer studentswith 31 or fewer semester hours. An adjustment was made to the curriculum to improve 22
  23. 23. and increase developmental programs, and academic services were developed to offerspecific services during orientation of new students. These initiatives contributed to a75% return rate of the fall 2000 cohort for the second year, the third best result for four-year colleges in the state of Alabama (Alabama Commission on Higher Education, 2001). The six-year graduation rates of the respective cohorts (Table 1) between 1992and 1996 indicated that less than a third of all African American males who were enrolledat the institution were graduating in six years.======================================================Table 1.1992-1997 Cohorts graduation rates for African Americanmales/females Alabama A&M University after 6 YearsYear % males % females1992 27.8 44.271993 27.34. 42.171994 32.33 38.41995 29.44 50.691996 31.88 44.89Source: Alabama Commission on Higher Education: Completion and RetentionRates Report, 2001. In realizing that the services of University College could not carry out theobjectives required to meet the retention needs of all cohorts, the Office of Retention andAcademic Support (RAS) was created in 2001 with the mandate to coordinate andimplement programs and services to assist undergraduate students successfully completetheir degree. The mission of RAS is to be instrumental in developing, coordinating andimplementing programs and services to assist students with successful degree 23
  24. 24. completion. It also designed programs to assist students in reducing acclimatization,stress, and make connections with peer and faculty so as to improve their chances forgraduating. RAS was designated to work with all academic departments, student servicesand all academic support units to help students reduce the obstacles that prevented themfrom completing their degrees and foster interaction among students, faculty and staff. Tinto (1987) and Braunstien and McGrath (1997) emphasized that nearly 85% ofstudent departures are voluntary and occur even though most students maintain adequatelevels of academic performance. Administrative personnel, faculty members and stafftherefore, must develop an understanding of students who withdraw and the reasons whythey do. Programs that are designed must have inputs from administration, academicstaff, alumni, and student services. They have to work together and be on the samestrategic plan, having a common understanding of the issues and concerns of students atrisk. It is imperative that the perceptions and the experiences of individuals beexamined so that decisions made are guided by research (Levin & Levin 1992). Levinand Levin et.al further stated that in order to improve retention rates for at-risk minoritystudents, program developers will benefit from consultation or collaboration withresearchers and faculty in the areas of student life and curriculum development.Braunstien (1997) indicated that if this does not occur the institution will have severaldepartments with an abundance of retention programs with different budget systems andresponsibilities offering relevant, but non- coordinated and segmented services. Changes in academic and essential program objectives are usually based morefrequently on the planner’s assumptions, personal convictions and perceptions 24
  25. 25. (Braunstien, McGrath, 1997). Administrators, therefore, must pay attention to thecompatibility between the characteristics of faculty and the factors that affect their workenvironment (Lidholm, 2002). Faculty have to be challenged to be not only facilitators oflearning but also be able to accommodate the problems and experiences of AfricanAmerican males and lend their support in enhancing their collegiate experiences(Spradley, 2001). The perceptions of faculty regarding program design andimplementation becomes critical in successful planning, executing and evaluating anyinitiative to improve retention. If faculty perceives that there is no fit between them, theirinstitution, and work environment, then their participation in programs will be affected(Braunstien, McGrath, 1997).Statement of the Problem The primary issue investigated in this study is: What are faculty perceptionsregarding the institution’s retention program for African American male students asrelated to race, gender, age, years of teaching, academic rank and academic advising?The Purpose of the Study Several studies have been conducted on the retention of African Americanstudents at Predominately White Colleges and Universities (PWCUs) and at HBCUs, butlittle research as been conducted on the perceptions of faculty regarding their perceptionof institutional initiatives that affect the retention of male African American students.According to Hickenson (2002) limited research has also been conducted with respect togender and race at HBCU. The purpose of the study is to contribute to the body of research on student 25
  26. 26. retention by investigating faculty perceptions regarding a historically black institution’sretention program for African American male students as related to race, gender, age,years of teaching, academic rank, and academic advising.Research Questions The following research questions guided this study: 1.What are faculty perceptions regarding the effectiveness of institutional policies for increasing the retention of African American male students? 2.What are faculty perceptions regarding the effectiveness of institutional support for increasing the retention of African American male students? 3.How do workload influences faculty perceptions of the effectiveness of the institution’s retention program affecting African American male students? 4.What knowledge do faculty members possess regarding the institution’s retention program? 5.How do faculty perceptions differ on the effectiveness of the institution’s retention program with respect to race, gender, age, years of teaching, academic rank, and academic advising?The Need for the Study The study will be useful to the entire university community and specifically to:1. The Board of Trustees – The study will provide information, that will assist the boardin formulating and amending institutional policies regarding student retention.2. The President – It will provide the President with information regarding facultyperceptions of student retention and how institutional retention policies are implemented. 26
  27. 27. 2. The Provost/ Vice President of Academic Affairs and The Vice President for StudentsAffairs – It will provide these senior administrators with information regarding facultyperceptions of retention programs that can be used as a benchmark to determineacceptable faculty engagement.3. Dean of University College/ Office of Retention and Support – It will provideinformation from the faculty’s perspectives on the effectiveness of the institution’sretention program for African American male students.4. Deans and Department Chairs – The information will be useful to these academicleaders to serve as a tool for improving faculty participation in retention initiatives.5. Faculty- To make faculty aware of their role and expectations by students, and theinstitution in fulfilling the retention mandate.Limitations of the Study 1.The sample was limited to full-time faculty (9-12 months) employed by the university during the 2003-2004 academic year. 2.The study was limited to one Historically Black Public University. 3. The variables associated with retention in this study were limited only to faculty perceptions, and do not take into consideration other factors such as students’ socioeconomic background, college satisfaction, financial aid, and first generation college entrants.Definition of Terms 27
  28. 28. 1. Institutional Policy. Clear and explainable university policy that is central to the institution and approved by the board of trustees.2. Institutional support. Allocation of funds, personnel, facilities, technology, and other essential resources.3. Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Institutions established before 1960 with the primary intention of educating African Americans.4. Retention – The flow of students through the university within a 1-6 year time period and is reflected in the way students enroll, complete their degree requirements or drop out.5. Faculty Workload. Time spent in teaching, research, service and professional activities.6. Full- time faculty. Individuals employed by the university on a 9-12 month contract, who teach a minimum of 6- 9 hours credit hours per semester asgraduate faculty, and 9-15 credit hours per semester asundergraduate faculty (American Association of University Professors, 2003).7. Research and professional activity. Scholarly endeavors beyond those required for effective teaching; the results intended for publication, dissemination for evaluation or criticism by peers in books, scholarly journals or professional meetings (American Association of UniversityProfessors, 2003).8. Years of Teaching. Number of years spent participating in classroom teaching, directed studies, and supervised field work, grading, advising, and 28
  29. 29. directing thesis or dissertation, serving or graduate or thesiscommittees at the institution sampled.9. Frequency of Contact. Interaction with students in and out of the classroom. Organization of the study The remainder of the research report presents the chapters beginning with thereview of the literature in Chapter two. The literature review is divided into (1)theoretical perspective, (2) impact of institutional policy on retention, (3) impact offaculty support, (4) impact of gender, (5) impact of workload, and (6) impact of years ofteaching. In chapter three the research methodology is presented while chapter fourprovides the presentation and analysis of the data. Chapter five presents the findings,conclusions, recommendations and recommendation. 29
  30. 30. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEWTheoretical Perspective To understand the factors that are expected in a successful retention program therehas to be an examination of how the students’ environment in and out of the institutionaffects their persistence. Austin’s (1985) theory of involvement concludes that forstudents to be successful they must be involved with their environment and exploit theopportunities available. Tinto’s (1987) theory of institutional departure depicts the impact of studentenvironment on persistence (see Figure 1.). Tinto stipulated that students enter college forvarious reasons including personal, family, academic characteristics, college dispositionand goals. These have to be modified and reformulated through longitudinal interactionswith individuals and structures in both the academic and social system of the institution.Satisfying encounters will lead to greater integration by the student and enhances thestudent retention chances. Negative interactions, on the other hand, will distance thestudent and create marginality and withdrawal (Tinto, 1987). 30
  31. 31. Fig 1. Model of Institutional Departure===============================================================Source: Tinto, 1987, Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition. (p.114) Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Tinto (2002) stated that persistence by students is related to the level ofintegration of the student within an institution and the feelings they experience as they tryto fit into the community. Students, he concludes, must feel that their goals are alignedwith the institution’s goals and must have sufficient interaction to feel that their goals andvalues are the same as the organization’s. Pascarella’s general model for assessing changes ( see Figure 2) also emphasizesenvironmental variables effect on retention. He stated that college background, pre-college traits, the structural and organizational characteristics of the institution, thecollege or university environment influences student interaction and socialization. Heconcludes that student retention is determined by the quality of the student effort to 31
  32. 32. socialize and interact with socialization agents such as peers, faculty, and the effort inlearning and developing. Fig 2. Model of Undergraduate Socialization==============================================================================================================================Source: From Pascarella, E. (1985). College environmental influences on learning and cognitive development: A critical review and synthesis. (p.50) New York: Agathon The Weidman model of undergraduate socialization, takes into considerationsocialization and psychological influences on a student’s effort to change their behaviors(see Figure 3). Student behavior within a college structure and the organizational settingcan be influenced by groups out of the college environment such as parental socialization,church, other community organizations, peers and employers. When they becomeexposed to the college normative and socialization experience they have to make adecision to maintain or change their aspirations or values that they had on entering 32
  33. 33. college. The encounters with peers and faculty will help the student decide on career,lifestyle preferences, values and aspirations. Fig 3. Weidman Model of Undergraduate Socialization==============================================================================================================================Source: Weidman, J. (1989). Undergraduate socialization: A conceptual approach. In J Smart (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (Vol.5). New York: Agathon. Molnar (1996) stated that social and psychological outcomes are importantcontributions to predicting retention but his analysis concludes that the only variablesassociated with social integration that encourage persistence were those that supportacademic involvement, credit hours attempted, prior expectation of graduation, andparticipation in orientation course. Bean (1980), in his model of attrition, also supports the notion that environmentshapes students behaviors and attitudes. He postulates that different types of students in 33
  34. 34. the same institution differ in their types of economic and social experiences. Social andacademic integration in the institution affect student persistence at different times duringthe college experience. The intentions and approaches are shaped by attitudes andexperiences, intentions, background, environment and behavioral outcomes. Thesefactors, he concludes, affect students intentions to leave the university. According to Diola (1996) the typical construct of these models includes parentalapproval, financial attitudes, and opportunity to transfer, courses, encouragement fromfriends, institutional quality fit, academic integration, social integration, institutionalcommitment, goal commitment and interest to persist. The research concludes thatacademic and social integration are considered as longitudinal outcomes, and theirmeasurements focus on events or outcomes that take place within the college experience. If college experiences are critical in examining retention status, efforts ofHistorically Black Colleges and Universities and open admission colleges to identifythose who are likely to withdraw prior to, or shortly after enrollment is not the correctprocedure. Diola (1996) concludes that the focus should be on students early in theircollege experience, the student/college match, culture, and the initial experiences of thestudents, academic advising, and support services. Impact of Institutional Policy and Support In a comprehensive model on black student retention Credle and Dean (1991)stated that colleges must examine their philosophy and mission, asses the institution’sability to work with black students and assesses black students’ academic and socialreadiness. They conclude that when the students enter college, the advisor, staff and 34
  35. 35. faculty must establish rapport with them, help them work within the organizationalstructure, assist with career and the world of work, and adopt services to support theseendeavors. 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 who provide the positivegrowth experiences for students that enable them to identify their goals and talents andlearn how to use them. Tinto (1987) stated that academic advising is the only structuredactivity on campuses in which students have the opportunity to have one to oneinteraction with a concerned representative of the institution. Academic advisingtherefore is one of the major social and academic domains of the college experience thatdecide if students leave or stay. Johnson (1997) also stated that advising is not an isolatedprocess, as retention efforts must be focused on all components of the campus and theuniversity. He postulates that colleges and universities must build an effective and strongconnection between advising programs and various components on campus. Wyckoff(1999) in his research concludes that one of the key factors that contribute to pooradvising is lack of consensus about the role and function of the advisors. Milem (1996) stated that involvement influences students’ perception ofinstitutional support. His findings suggest that early involvement of the student withfaculty have positive effect on student persistence therefore, students must not only beencouraged to be actively engage with their peers but also with their professors. Mohr,Fiche, and Sedlacek (1998) in a study of non- returning seniors concluded that theretention of seniors is best predicted by dissatisfaction with academic guidance, 35
  36. 36. dissatisfaction with access to school information, dissatisfaction with quality ofeducation, and the feeling of institutional alienation. This is further supported by Furr andElling (2002) who found a negative relationship between not knowing about campusprograms, interest in the university, and retention. Furr further postulated that the university should collect information prior to thestudent entering college and after the student begins so that they can have informationfrom the students concerning social integration, involvement in and out of classexperiences, program activities, financial needs, and intentions to work throughstructured climate surveys. He stated that if faculty members are aware of thisinformation they can develop profiles to help students monitor and balance their variousactivities, interact on the student’s behalf with financial aid, provide information forcounselors, residential hall advisors and other faculty members before the student’sproblems become insurmountable. Shwitzer (1993) stated that persistence through graduation was related positivelyto voluntarily seeking help. In his study he stated that as voluntary use of counselingincreased, the academic performance of second year at risk students who participated inbrief mandatory counseling improved dramatically. According to Boyd (1987) manystudents who are at risk however, fail to avail themselves of the resources provided forthem by their universities. He stated that in the interest of academic retention, collegesand universities must take a proactive stance by contacting students at risks to offer themspecific services. Friedlander (1980) stated that at-risk students are less likely than low- riskstudents to seek assistance from academic related programs, become involved in college 36
  37. 37. activities or report that college is helping them to make academic progress. Requiringthese students to participate in remedial programs generates it own problems as thesestudents become isolated from the general student population. Visibly distinguishingthese students creates a sense of inferiority and separateness. He postulates that programstaff and faculty should go after these students to increase the likelihood of the studentsmaking use of campus resources. High-risk students he concludes should be worked withclosely to develop their confidence, skills, and interest in learning. One of the key reasons for students at-risk not seeking assistance is thecommunication apprehension that exits. According to McCroskey (1989) communicationapprehension is conceptualized as a casual agent in student success. He stated that this isimplicated in both academic and interpersonal success. From his study the resultsindicated that students with communication apprehension were more likely to drop outand attain lower grade point averages compared to students with low communicationapprehension. The impact is strongest in the first two years of school. Hawken (1991)further confirmed that the social confirmation dimensions of communication competencedifferentiate persisters and non persisters up to four years in college. Cuseo (2003)suggested that the institution should deliver academic support intrusively by initiatingcontact with students and aggressively bringing the support services to them, rather thanhoping the students will take advantage of them in their own time. Tinto (1975) stated that out-of-class contact with students has a powerful effecton the persistence of students who are “withdrawal prone”. Tinto (1997), in his study ofhigh-risk students, found that every student who persisted had cited someone on the 37
  38. 38. faculty who has made contact with them outside of the classroom. This becomes moreapparent when it is embedded into the institutional mission. The perception of the extent that a program shares in the institutional mission isan important component to faculty participation in any program. Faculty who buy intoinstitutional mission report greater satisfaction than those who consider the missionirrelevant (Padilla, 2000). Thomas, Giles and Green (1994), on the other hand, stated thatfaculty should be convinced that retention is important and the problems associated withstudent retention are a part of the college life. According to Thomas, Giles and Greenretention effort, should be organized for faculty and students to understand how toreceive and take advantage of the available assistance. According to Saluri, Levitz, Noel and associates (1985) “there are at least fivefactors that determine the success in organizing a campus effort to confront the issue ofretention. They are (a) institutional climate, (b) definitive objectives, (c) well conceivedstrategy for achieving these objectives, (d) involvement of key faculty members andadministrators, and (e) specific and realistic recommendations” (p.432). According to Pascarella and Terenzini (1991) institutional climate can influencefaculty members if there activities have some reward. They stated that faculty cannot beexpected to have an involvement in out-of-class student activities if they are recruited forresearch and whose research brings them more prominence than involvement with undergraduate students. Faculty recruitment and reward, therefore, should focus on reflectingthe seriousness of the institution to retention. 38
  39. 39. The Impact of Faculty Support Bandura’s (1997) theory of self-efficacy postulates that problems are affected byenvironmental and prior experiences. Individuals who are motivated to pursue a course ofaction and the way they support environmental initiatives are affected by self-efficacy.Self-efficacy and outcome expectations are beliefs about whether the outcome is worthpursuing. Expectations of a person’s efficacy determine whether behavior will beimitated, how much effort will be expended and how long the effort will be sustained inthe presence of obstacles. Commitment of faculty, as well as the institution, is central to higher education’sprogram success. Armon (1995) stated that faculty want to help their institutions, andadministrations should communicate with them openly, honestly, and frequently in face-to-face dialogues centered on their mission. Armon (1995) further found thatcommitment to an organization by faculty does not change due to faculty age, gender,length of employment, teaching load, marital status, tenure status and highest educationaldegree achieved. Organizational commitment, he postulates, correlated positively withperceptions of openness of communication system, professional growth opportunities,socialization opportunities, pay satisfaction and personal agreement with collegiatemission. A study conducted by Sydow and Sandel (1998) to determine the reasons behindthe high rate of student attrition indicated that student faculty interaction had a strongerrelationship to student satisfaction then any other variable. They reported that academicadvisors gave their advisees encouragement and support, helped them define their goals, 39
  40. 40. sent notes, made phone calls, visited advisee, discussed dropping out, emphasized classattendance, and referred advisees to counselors and tutors. This is further supported by Carerra, Nora and Castaneda (1993) who suggestedthree issues that have significant impact on students thought of leaving the university,faculty members who have been psychologically supportive of the student’s needs,faculty who return phone calls and emails in a timely fashion, and faculty members whoare approachable. The research also contends that faculty who help students gaincompetency and self-worth, and who want students to succeed have implemented moremeaningful strategies for effective intervention. From the student perspective,undergraduates value faculty who function very effectively as mentors and counselors,are accessible and available, are knowledgeable and helpful, are personable and helpful,and act as a humanizing agent. Henderson (2002) found that the majority of students at a historically blackcollege felt it is most important to have someone who cares about their future and has avested interest in their education. Race, the research revealed, had nothing to do with thequality of the individual. Lee (1999) also said that the race of the faculty members wasnot important in facilitating minority-mentoring relationship but it was the quality of theinteraction that was important. Lee further postulates that students expected a facultyadvisor to help them gain insight of the dominant culture, to help them succeed both inattaining their degree and securing employment in their career field. According to Lee,Noel, Letiz and Saluri (1985) “ among the characteristics of those persons with thegreatest potential to retention projects seem to be those with (1) knowledge of students 40
  41. 41. concern and behavior, (2) clout and credibility within the institution decision mechanism,and (3) time to attend regularly scheduled meeting” (p.42). Many faculty members may not be aware of the impact of these factors onretention. Braunstein & McGrath (1997) stated that there should be informal discussionsas well as formal opportunities to discuss and propose ways by which the issue ofretention should be addressed. As part of that dialogue he postulates that the focusshould be on both the functional and substantive reality of institutional life so thatstakeholders are less disengaged and have greater participation. He suggested that thoseresponsible for retention share the predictors of retention with members of thecommunity so that they can be sensitized to needs of the students. It is then that room canbe allowed for the design that is conducive and adaptive to the academic environment. For faculty to truly change towards a student-centered professional advisingmentality, educational administrators have to place a high value on academic advisementas a professional responsibility. Lowe (2000) said that in comparing student satisfactionwith academic advising the frequency and contact with faculty greatly predicts studentsatisfaction. He also indicated that academic advising varies greatly across colleges,between student groups, and there was a difference in the perception of advising based onthe student status. In order to bring about a more effective advising system, Lowe (2000)recommends that advising be recognized as a high priority activity, advisors be trained,advising responsibilities be defined, materials be improved and become more widelyavailable, there must be accountability, evaluations be conducted and reward measures beinstituted. 41
  42. 42. Research has shown that faculty influence affects retention of students more thanany other group and is a good predictor of student retention. Faculty transforms manystudents from deprived backgrounds into competent confident black professionals.Students who interact with faculty frequently report significant increases in educationalsatisfaction and consider the caring attitudes as the most important factor contributing totheir degree completion than any other variable (Tinto, 1975; Austin, 1977). Out- of-class contacts with students have a perennial impact on students who are “withdrawalprone”. Frequent faculty contact in and out of the classroom, whether it is in the form ofadvising, mentoring and counseling, requires time and commitment for it to be successful(Astin, 1985). The present system as it exists does not allow faculty to contributeeffectively to their professional endeavors, meet their academic responsibilities and servethe needs of male students (AAUP, 2003). For faculty to invest time and effort in addition to teaching, research andpublishing it will be reasonable to expect some form of compromise. According to Boyer(1991), faculty research and scholarship should be more broadly defined to include theadvising and retention process, and it should be apart of the tenure process. He furtherstated that for institutions to make high quality advisement a reality, advisors need to beaware of the position and commitment of the institution towards advising, be given thetime to do it, know that the time will be counted to their promotion and tenure, maintainadvisee ratios that are small enough to deliver personal advising, provide strong incentivefor students to meet their advisors, identify effective advisors and position students whoare at risk in their major area so they are declared to the advisor during their firstsemester. 42
  43. 43. Berger (1996) indicated that various forms of involvement did influence studentsperceptions of institutional support and peer support. In turn, these perceptions of supportappear to have an effect on students levels of institutional commitment. Of greatersignificance, he reported, was early involvement with faculty, which tended to have apositive role in molding student persistence. Faculty, know that the demands of tenure and promotion are vested in scholasticachievement. Faculty members would like to be considered as scholars and not justteachers. They believe that research and teaching are complementary and not competingactivities. While administrators reiterate that teaching is priority they expect faculty to beinvolved in research and service actives along with their standard teaching load(Sharobeam & Howard, 2000). Historically Black Colleges and Universities do not function under the publish orperish philosophy. Administrators under pressure from public policies, legislation andcost constraints have increased teaching loads for faculty, which have decreased thequality of their research and give less time to scholarly activities. An increase in studentto faculty ratio decreases the educational quality which underscores retention initiatives(Massy and Zemesky 1994). Studies by Wagner (1994) found that faculty promotion andtenure decisions are marginally affected by excellence in teaching and are mainly basedon faculty research activities. Research is not only essential for promotion and tenure butalso for career and professional development. The changing demands of students, the demand to carry out productive researchand invest in the service components can create tension and resentments in addressingprogram objectives associated with the African American males. For a faculty member at 43
  44. 44. a historically black college, a conflict can arise between racial uplift goals of working toimprove and advance the condition of ones race, promotion and tenure obligations.Faculty can have societal and community impacts through their research but faculty haveto make decisions every day between obligations that are focused on individualaccomplishments, such as publishing a research article, and obligations to race-relatedservice activities (Townsend, 2003). The overrepresentation of minority faculty in service involvements has a fewinteresting twists. As long as faculty is not supporting community service initiatives, thencommunity service initiatives will be marginalized (O’Meara, 2002). Furthermore,according to Ascher (1991), as long as service is marginalized and under rewarded in theacademic work hierarchy, faculty who are extensively involved in service and who arenot tenured will risk the ultimate, which is marginalization and denial of tenure for failureto engage in the activities that are rewarded through promotion. Omera (2002) supportthis further by stating that the dilemma presents a challenge for scholars interested inservice roles and campuses interested in creating a service culture. Faculty support forprograms, he conclude will depend on their perception to programs that require constantinteraction between faculty and students and which infringes on time for activitiesaffecting their tenure. The Impact of Gender Bonner (1995), in examining the perceptions of African-American male andfemale faculty and administrators in areas such as promotion, tenure, institutionalclimate, and professional life, indicated significant differences by gender in response toitems assessing the subjects perceptions of promotion, tenure, institutional climate, and 44
  45. 45. professional life. Female subjects reported lower satisfaction with their professional lives,reported a greater sense of isolation on campus, and reported differential and morenegative treatment by colleagues. Bonner (1995) stated that women faculty is reportinggreater pressure, more so than their male counterparts, as they have had to juggle familyand academic responsibilities. Buck (2003) also stated that women faculty, because oftheir traditional role, are expected to provide more service to their students, thedepartment, and institution in greater measures than their male colleagues. Bonner (2001), in a study on gender issue at Historically Black Colleges revealedthat black women continue to experience a pattern of location at the bottom of theemployment, rank, and tenure ladder. Moreover, they indicate that in relation to barriersto promotion, exclusion from the curricula, a chilly climate in the workplace andclassroom, and sexual harassment. Black women face the same obstacles at HBCUs asthey do at predominantly white institutions, because most of these institutions lag behindin addressing gender issues. Black women on faculty are also faced with the issuesrelating to managing career and family, attaining tenure, overcoming external barriers,and establishing support systems (Bonner, 2001). Dey (2002) reported that tenure status,race, gender and household/childcare roles all produced significant level of stress forwhite and black women faculty but non-white women report higher rates of stress relatedto subtle racism. Racial uplift is a concern for students as well as faculty. Involvement withexternal racial communities through service is an important mechanism for faculty andstudents to contribute to their racial community (Harris, 1995). Depending, therefore, onsupportive network that exits and the development culture that encourages participation 45
  46. 46. by faculty in most critical retention discussions, female faculty perception andparticipation will be affected. If there is no focus on institutional climate, support systemsand networks, role ambiguity and role overload, the connections between racism andsexism, along with other systemic barriers facing black women faculty in the academy,then women participation in retention program will be affected (Bonner, 2001). According to Allen (1998), there is a gender gap in public doctoral institutions.Men and women give different priorities to their work responsibilities. Males in general,he postulates, spend more time on research than teaching and publish more frequentlythan their female counterparts. They work more hours irrespective of their ethnicity.Female faculty, on the other hand, devote more time to teaching and spends less time onresearch and publish less. Impact of Work Load Jane Buck (2003), in her presentation to an AAUP conference underscores theplight of faculty at Historically Black Colleges by stating “the problems of individualfaculty members of HBCUs are of great concern. Faculty members of HBCUs complainof crushing teaching loads coupled with accelerating demands for research productivity,lack of effective participation in governance, pathetically low salaries, increasinglydifficult time criteria for promotion and tenure.” (p.4) The AAUP (2004) guidelines states that “only in extraordinary circumstances willtenure track, probationary faculty be called to teach more than 9 credit hours persemester.” (p.3). Annual criteria for such faculty are 60% teaching, 30% research and10% service. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (1999), full-timefaculty members work about fifty-five hours a week, and part-time faculty work nearly 46
  47. 47. forty. With a further decrease in most state appropriation for higher education, faculty atHistorically Black Colleges and Universities are teaching more courses, have largerundergraduate classes and are working 48-60 hours per week (AAUP, 2003). Faculty role and workload are usually shaped by academic culture include valuesand incentives that tend to be in large part disciplined related and institutionally driven(Amey, 1995). Workload is critical in creating work situations that allow faculty to meetcriteria for promotion and tenure. Workload imbalances or inequities, also, can lead tosignificant morale problems within the faculty unit. Dissatisfaction with workloadallocation and possible inequities among faculty creates faculty dissatisfaction andproblems with cooperation. For these reasons programs should ensure that workloadpolicies cover all faculty roles, and are clearly stated and fair to all faculties. Equallyimportant is a faculty based mechanism to monitor the implementation of these policiesand one that pays special attention to differences based on race, gender, and rank(Seaberg, 1998). Four work environmental factors mostly connected with stress are exhaustion,alienation, low self-esteem, and depression. These occur most often where there are highteaching loads, low institutional support including pay and satisfaction, low participationinstitutional governance and loss of satisfaction with academic life (Wills, 2000). Theworkload of faculty requires great time management in balancing professional lives, workenvironment and situations occurring on the job itself. Faculty who try to get more donein less time frequently experience academic “burn out”, frustration and work relatedstress (Plane & Jacob 2000). 47
  48. 48. Plane and Jacob (2000) also maintained that time management is generally seenas effective when individuals can control their work. If there is no great organizationaleffectiveness and faculty are not able to manage academic stress and work relatedpressure they will “burnt out”. When faculty workload is tremendous and stress is notmanaged the result is lessened job satisfaction, depression and family difficulties. Planeand Jacobs (2000) conclude that if faculty believes they have control of good and badoutcomes in their lives they will be better able to cope with the stress related to academicworkload. Impact of Years of Teaching According to Knight (2002), attempts to improve teaching are often focused onbeginning teachers but there are indications that older teachers are losing teaching servicevitality. Knight contend that “ faculty exhibit a general displacement energy in thesecond half of their careers and have a tendency to exhibit withdrawal from work, exhibitless activism and zealousness about the pursuit of service excellence.” (p. 76). Knight(2002) further stated that attempts to improve teaching are often focused on youngerfaculty who tend to be more active due to tenure and promotion obligations but olderfaculty is losing teaching service vitality. Most still do teach but they face newchallenges, new teaching mandates, a more diverse student body and new policies buttend not to engage in instructional, developmental and professional activities. According to Rosa (2003), faculty becomes polarized as the privileged elite ofolder tenure males who teach graduate students and have time available for research.According to the National Education Association (1995, 2001) recently hired full- timefaculty (five years or less) are less likely to have tenure or be on tenure tract than is the 48
  49. 49. case of full- time faculty members. The study concluded that tenured faculty memberspublish more, teach more classes, serve on more committees, have more contact withstudents, and receive higher salaries than those who are on tenure tract. Lindholm (2002), in a study on understanding faculty work experience and itsrelationship, looked at faculty members assessment of fit, intellectual stimulationsocial/economic and structural support based on gender, career stage and departmentalaffiliation concludes that the importance of university based associations tend to declineas faculty become established in their careers. This, he stated, can create conflictingdimensions for faculty work and individuals as institutional characteristics operatetogether to affect organizational community. Summary of Literature Review African American male student retention is affected by social and psychologicalexperiences associated with their environment before and after they entered college. Theyhave different experiences and expectations upon entering college that must be moldedand guided within the college environment so that career and graduation expectation areachieved. For this to occur social programs have to be designed to help at risk AfricanAmerican male students with academic and social integration. The cornerstone for its success is faculty student socializing and interaction in orout of the classroom. Faculty role in retention program success reflects the variety ofroles they play, whether it is advisor, mentor or teacher. Their interaction and reaction toAfrican American male students can determine their persistence to graduation. 49
  50. 50. The literature cited showed that:1. Faculty participation in retention programs is impacted by clearly defined institutional policies, goals and resources.2. The success of retention initiatives for African American male students will be impacted by the frequency of informal or formal interaction with faculty in and out of the classroom. The level of support will be determined, if it is consistent with faculty personal and professional goals.3. Faculty, irrespective of gender, face the same professional issues throughout their careers, however women faculty because of their traditional roles are expected to provide more service to students than their males colleagues. They also have additional issues relating to family and career, which can create overload and role ambiguity. This can affect their participation in retention programs.4. High teaching loads at Historically Black Colleges and Universities can create dissatisfaction and faculty cooperation. Workload must seem fair and equitable and faculty must be able to balance both their professional lives and participate in activities such as retention.5. Recently hired faculty in trying to establish their careers are more active and vibrant and show a willingness to accommodate a more diverse student body. More establish faculty members on the other hand are more involved in research, teach graduate students and involved with policy issues. An environment thus has to created for both groups to 50
  51. 51. work together in their different dimensions to improve African American male student retention. The literature cited postulates that there are connections between facultyparticipation in intrusive programs based on their ability and willingness to manage andbalance academic and social responsibilities. Research also show that the level ofinstitutional commitment, tenure, faculty workload, gender of the faculty and years ofteaching, are embedded in the visages of academic life, and do affect participation.Faculty perceptions are based on interrelated variables molded into their academicexperiences and campus environment. 51
  52. 52. Chapter 3 MethodologyIntroduction The purpose of the study is to contribute to the body of research on studentretention by investigating faculty perceptions regarding a Historically Black University’sinstitutional retention program for African American male students as related to race,gender, age, years of teaching, academic rank and academic advising.This chapter presents information regarding (a) the population, (b) data collection, (c)research instrument, (d) research procedures and design, and (e) data analysis.Population Permission to complete the study was received from the Provost and VicePresident for Academic affairs (see Appendix A). A request was made to InstitutionalResearch and Planning for a list of the full time academic faculty for the 2003-2004school year. The population for this study consisted of 250 full-time faculty at AlabamaA & M University. As shown in Table 2 the racial profile was 50.3% Black non-Hispanic, 28.8%White non-Hispanics, 13% Asian Pacific Islander, and 7.2% Non Resident alien. Thepopulation also consisted of 187 or (65.1%) male faculty and 108 or (36 %) femalefaculty. 52
  53. 53. Table 2. Headcount of full-time faculty by race and gender, 2003-2004===============================================================Gender Black-Non White Non Asian Pacific American Non Resident Hispanic Hispanic Islander Indian Alien_______________________________________________________________________Female 36.6% 35.7% 23.7% 0 4.8%Male 63.3% 64.3% 76.3% 1 95.2%Race as 50.3% 28.8% 13% 0.03% 7.2%A % ofTotal___________________________________________________________________N = 295 Table 3 shows the full-time faculty from schools and departments across theinstitution. The School of Arts and Science comprise of 100 faculty, Agriculture andEnvironmental Sciences has 60, Business with 28, Education 60, and Engineering andTechnology 47. Table 3. Faculty members by schools and departments=============================================================== Full Time-FacultyAgriculture and Environmental Sciences 60 Agri-Business 9 Community Planning and Urban Studies 6 Family and Consumer Science 11 Food and Animal Science 8 Plant and Soil Science 26 Arts and Sciences 100 Behavioral Sciences 11 English and Foreign Languages 35 Mathematics 14 Chemistry 9 Biology 11 Physics 14 Social Work 6Business 28 Accounting 6 Economic and Fiancé 11 Management and Marketing 11Education 60 Communicative Sciences and Disorders 6 53
  54. 54. Table 3. (continued) ================================================================ Full Time-Faculty Elementary and Early Childhood 9 Arts and Music 13 Physical Education 8 Psychology and Counseling 8 Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Leadership 16 Engineering and Technology 47 Civil Engineering 6 Computer Science 12 Electrical Engineering 7 Industrial Technology 14 Mechanical Engineering 8 Total 295Sampling Method A copy of the faculty listing for 2004 was requested from The Office of Planningand Institutional Research. Two lists were generated, the first presented faculty by genderand race while the second listed faculty by schools and departments. The lists werechecked against the faculty database at aamu.edu, the official Web site of the institutionand the campus directory for 2003-2004.Research Instrument According to Lee (1997) surveys are useful in determining the actualvalues of the variables studied and the relationship between them. They can be pretested,used to determine appropriate response rate, evaluate non-response biases assessment ofwhether any real relationships exits, and are appropriate to be used with other forms. 54
  55. 55. A questionnaire was developed specifically for this study. The developmentalprocess of the instrument involved: (a) Identifying the intended population; (b) identifying and clarifying the research objectives using issues addressed in the literature review; (c) designing and selecting appropriate research questions; and (d) considering the relationship between questions on the instrument and the research objectives. The survey was designed to address and to seek information on facultyperceptions regarding the institution’s retention program for African American malestudents. The questionnaire was designed in six sections to address specific researchquestions. A numeric Likert-like scale was used to measure participants’ responses of thequestionnaire items. Participants responded to a series of statements indicating whetherthey strongly agree (SA), agree (A), disagree (D), neutral (N), or strongly disagree (SD).Each item was associated with a value point and individual scores ranging from 1 forstrongly agree (SA) to 5 for strongly disagree (SD). The usable questionnaires werenumbered, coded, with value labels for preparation for computer analysis (Appendix H).The relationship between the research questions and items in the questionnaire is shownin Table 4. 55
  56. 56. Table 4. Relationship between research questions and items in questionnaireResearch Questions Related Items on Questionnaire 1. What are faculty perceptions regarding Institutional Policy 14-20 the effectiveness of institutional policies for increasing the retention of African American male students? 2. What are faculty perceptions regarding Institutional Support 21-25 the effectiveness of institutional support for increasing the retention of African American male students? 3.How does faculty workload influence Workload 10-13 & 14-15? their perceptions of the effectiveness of the institution’s retention program Affecting African American male students? 4. What knowledge do faculty possess regarding the institution’s retention program? Knowledge 26-31 5. How do faculty perceptions differ on the Race 6 effectiveness of the institutions retention Gender 7 program affecting African American males Age 8 with respect to race, gender, age, years Years of teaching 9 of teaching, academic rank and academic Academic Rank 3 advising? Academic Advising 33-38 The instrument contained 38 questions and was divided into the following sixsections: 1. General faculty and demographic information, 2. faculty workload, 56
  57. 57. 3. faculty perceptions of institutional policy towards retention of African American males students, 4. faculty perceptions of the institution’s support towards the retention of African American males students, 5. faculty perceptions about their knowledge of the institution’s retention program and 6. academic advisement.Procedure and Design The subjects participated in the study during the spring semester of the2003-2004 academic year. A week before the survey instrument was distributed, a letterwas sent to the respective school deans explaining the purpose of the study. They wereasked to help in informing department chairs in their schools regarding the purpose of thestudy. The Deans and Chairpersons were also to ensure that faculty members received,completed, and returned the survey instrument. (See Appendix D). The researcher delivered the survey instrument to each department and given tothe secretary or chair for distribution to the faculty in that department Each survey package contained: (a) a cover letter to faculty members (Appendix F), (b) the questionnaire (see Appendix G), (c) a return envelope addressed to the researcher. Each envelope contained a number from 1-295. 57
  58. 58. A record sheet was developed and use to record the department name, range of surveysdistributed, number of surveys distributed, and the number of instruments returned.The following steps were employed to collect the completed questionnaire: 1. In early April contact was made with the secretaries of the respective departments soliciting their assistance in distributing the questionnaire to faculty members in their department. The faculty list for the department was verified with each secretary. A copy of the questionnaire along with the cover letter and an attached numbered return envelope was distributed to each department. The numbers were distributed in sequence based on the number of faculty in the department. The secretaries were given a folder to place all returned, sealed responses. 2. The secretaries placed the questionnaire in the mailbox of the respective faculty members in their department. 3. Faculty members were given six days to complete the questionnaire and return it in a sealed envelope to the department office. 4. In mid April, the investigator made the first pickup from the secretaries in all the departments. Data were entered on the record sheet as to how many envelopes were picked up. No records were made of the names of the faculty members who did not return the survey so as to maintain confidentiality and anonymity. The secretaries’ assistance was solicited to remind faculty members to complete the questionnaire. 58
  59. 59. 5. During the third week of April, 280 phone calls were made to faculty by the investigator encouraging their participation in the study. Another pickup was made six days after the follow-up phone calls. 6. At the end of April, 270 letters (Appendix F) were mailed to faculty members as a reminder to complete the questionnaire. A second pickup was made in early May. 7. During the first week in May 250 phone calls were made thanking faculty members for their participation in the survey and encouraged those who had not responded to complete the instrument and return it to their department secretary. The final pickup was made in mid May. Data Collection One hundred and seventeen questionnaires or 39.7 percent were returned. Nine ofthe questionnaires were discarded. Of the nine unusable responses five were returnedunanswered, and four were from individuals who no longer held full-time facultypositions. Four surveys were returned through the mail and the investigator collected onehundred and thirteen from the respective departments. Table 5 highlights the summationof the data collection from the respective schools and departments 59
  60. 60. 60
  61. 61. Table 5. Faculty Data Collection Summary Percent Questionnaires Number returned distributed returnedAgriculture and Environmental Sciences 60 23 38.3 Agri-Business 9 2 22.2 Community Planning and Urban Studies 6 2 33.3 Family and Consumer Sciences 11 4 36.4 Food and Animal Science 8 3 37.5 Plant and Soil Science 26 12 46.2Arts andSciences 100 35 35.0 Behavioral Sciences 11 4 36.4 English and Foreign Languages 35 11 31.4 Mathematics 14 4 28.6 Chemistry 9 3 33.3 Biology 11 3 27.3 Physics 16 4 25.0 Social Work 6 6 100.0Business 28 13 46.4 Accounting 8 3 37.5 Economics and Finance 9 5 55.6 Management and Marketing 11 5 45.5Education 60 32 53.3 Communicative Sciences and Disorders 6 3 50.0 Early Childhood Elementary Education 9 2 22.2 Fine Arts and Music 13 4 32.5 Physical Education 8 5 62.5 Psychology and Counseling 8 3 37.5 Curriculum Teaching and Educational Leadership 16 9 56.25Engineering 47 14 29.8 Civil Engineering 6 3 50.0 Computer Science 12 5 0.0 Electrical Engineering 7 0 0.0 Industrial Technology 14 0 0.0 Mechanical Engineering 8 3 37.5Total 295 117 39.7 _______________________________________________________________________ 61
  62. 62. Reliability and Validity The instrument was field tested at a Historically Black four-year private college.A letter was sent to the Provost/Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the institutionrequesting permission to conduct a field test of the instrument (Appendix B). After verbalpermission was granted, a cover letter was provided to the field test subjects explainingthe purpose of the study (Appendix C). The instruments and numbered envelopes werehand delivered to the offices of each department. The secretary of the departments placedthe instruments in respective faculty mailboxes. Seventy instruments were distributed.The investigator returned to the field test site seven days after the initial distribution tocollect the instruments. A second visit was made four (4) days later to collect anyremaining completed instruments. Faculty members and the investigator had informaldiscussions relating to the instrument and suggestions were made to clarify a fewquestions. Twenty of the instruments or thirty-five percent were returned. The returnedinstruments were evaluated and minor adjustments made where necessary. Statistical Methods The responses from the survey were coded and analyzed using the StatisticalPackage for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 10.0. Descriptive statistics were used toanalyze and compare the variables relating to the demographic profile of the respondents.The frequency table was generated and cross-tabulated to compare the responses withinthe variables. Chi-Square was used to determine the significance among the variables:gender, race, age, years of teaching, academic rank, and tenure status. 62

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