On the road to graduation: the first-year experience of students at a historically black college

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University of Alabama Libraries

Since the early nineteenth century, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have existed through many challenges to provide access to a higher education for any student regardless of color or academic preparedness. Today, these institutions are relevant to efforts of continuing a legacy of producing scholars, ministers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, politicians, educators, and other professionals from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The purpose of this study is to explore how students define their first year experience at a Historically Black College. The site of this study is Miles College, a private Historically Black College in the State of Alabama. This study is conceptually framed by the student involvement and student interactionalist theories and conducted through document analysis, observations and individual interviews. Themes emerged that provided insight into the first year experiences of the students. The data from this study indicates that the unique experiences academically and socially define the individual student's definition of the freshman year and strongly influences persistence to the sophomore year.

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Higher education