The Evolving Challenges of Black College Students: New Insights for Policy, Practice, and Research

Lemuel W. Watson

Terrell L. Strayhorn, Melvin Cleveland Terrell

Stylus Publishing

2010

Presenting new empirical evidence and employing fresh theoretical perspectives, this book sheds new light on the challenges that Black Students face from the time they apply to college through their lives on campus.

The contributors make the case that the new generation of Black students differ in attitudes and backgrounds from earlier generations, and demonstrate the importance of understanding the diversity of Black identity.

Successive chapters address the nature and importance of Black spirituality for reducing isolation and race-related stress, and as a source of meaning making; students’ college selection and decision process and the expectations it fosters; first-generation Black women’s motivations for attending college; the social-psychological determinants of academic achievement, and how resiliency can be developed and nurtured; institutional climate and the role of cultural centers; as well as identity development; and mentoring. The book includes a new research study of African American male undergraduates who identify as gay or bisexual; discusses the impact of student-to-student interactions in intellectual development and leadership building; describes the successful strategies used by historically Black institutions with at-risk men; considers the role of parents in Black male students’ lives, and the applicability of the “millennial” label to the new cohort of African American students.

The book offers new insights and concrete recommendations for policies and practices to provide the social and academic support for African American students to persist and fully benefit from their collegiate experience. It will be of value to student affairs personnel and faculty; constitutes a textbook for courses on student populations and their development; and provides a springboard for future research.