Motivation forResearch Studentprograms in higher education implemented for improving student retention leadto positive learning results for all students when diverse students werewidespread. This research conducts a study as a probing study using literaturereview focused on retention, diverse, underrepresented students, and highereducation. This research is important because it could help higher educationinstitutions with the concept on how to sustain populations of diversity toguarantee that the perks of retention are successfully received. This researchis investigating the concern of why and how diversity has such an influence onretention in higher education for African-Americans at any institution, either predominatelywhite or African American institution. Upongraduating in 1988 from a low-income, rural high school in Alabama, with thedesire to succeed and receive an education at an institute of higher education,this uneasy feeling of feeling alone, especially when it came to race andethnicity, played an important factor in enrolling in a traditionally whiteuniversity.
When arriving on campus, meeting diverse students from differentraces, ethnic backgrounds, and nationalities, combatted the idea that thisuniversity was diverse. Engaging in conversations with students from diverselocations, cultures, and languages proved be a wonderful learning experience.Unfortunately, the classroom and campus culture disputed that this was a campusof diversity, because African American students were definitely underrepresented.As the semester began, African-American students were present in class, but thesemester continued, the presence of African-American student numbers wouldtremendously reduce in the classroom. As it was revealed, African Americanstudents on campus were faced with retention and graduation issues.
Questionswere raised concerning the outcome of the African-American community on thiscampus and all other campuses of higher education institutions. Where are the AfricanAmerican college students? What factorsdetermined the outcomes and experiences of these minority students? What couldbe orchestrated and would make animpact to retain African Americans on campus. Overthe past 20 years, African-Americans earning degrees has doubled-with 10%college degrees, 12% graduate degrees, and 7% doctoral degrees (U.S. Census Bureau,2013). It is also determined that most African-Americans will enroll in lower-qualityinstitutions and with the likelihood not to graduate (Mettler, 2014). In orderto match the representation of the bureaucracy of the nation’s demographics,then it is crucial for African-Americans to gain the same access to quality andaffordable higher education that will lead to degree-granting completion (Krislov,2013). To determine this outcome, these areas must be examined: access,affordability, and attainment.
Educationhas been always been known as the equalizer to establish a path to the middleclass. Inequality is now the culprit. Tuition has increased tremendously, andmost American families are no longer financially able to allow their childrento enroll in colleges and universities. College tuition has inflated by 244%(Mettler, 2014), causing a reduction in the opportunity for middle and low-incomestudents to attend college.
Along with increased tuition rates, students arefaced with mounds of debt. Students are left with federal loan debts, exceedingthe U.S.
credit card debt (Mettler, 2014), and $200 billion in private studentloans are owed by students (Blumenstyk, 2015). Even though the United Statesspends billions each year on higher education (Carnevale, Strohl, & Gulish,2015), it is still ranked 12th worldwide for degree attainment (Organizationfor Economic Co-operation and Development, 2013). Regardlessthe huge amount of federal dollars used on higher education, minority groups ofAmerican students are underrepresented or excluded from the college experience.These individuals are identified as low-income and minority students(Carnevale, 2015). These low-income andminority students most likely will enroll in lower-tiered colleges and universitiesand will graduate with a higher student loan debt rate than high-income,majority students (Huelsman, 2015). Mettler (2014) has observed degrees of inequalityderiving from two separate systems: one for more privileged students, and onefor low-income and minority students.
Also, Mettler observed (2014), the systemof higher education is responsible for the increasing inequality, as itclassifies Americans by income rather than giving them the advantage to elevatethemselves with opportunity. Access, affordability, and attainment is the coreof this problem.The Importance Closing the highschool graduation, college attendance, or college completion gap between themajority and the minority groups—the public is the beneficiary, includingreduced costs in social welfare and tax increases, outweigh the costs toprovide the education. There is a clear connection between the goals andpreparation of students and the effectiveness of the institutions inguaranteeing access, affordability, and attainment.