The ability of institutional initiatives to promote the adaptation of African American college students
Ray, Darrell Curtis
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The purpose of this study was to explore the ability of institutional initiatives to promote adaptation to college for African American undergraduate students. Institutional initiatives examined were specific services provided by the institution aimed directly for African American undergraduate students. The study sought to determine if participation in or utilization of the services would promote higher levels of adaptation to college. Additionally, extracurricular involvement was measured to determine if students exhibited higher levels of involvement in relation to or as a result of participation in the "special services." The research instrument was comprised of the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire, the Extracurricular Involvement Inventory, a demographic profile, and five qualitative questions. Data collection occurred at student organization meetings and events, through contact with students in the student center, and other campus locations. The final sample was composed of 212 African American undergraduate students (96 male; 116 female). Significant differences were found on the social adjustment scale and the general attachment subscale of the overall attachment scale based on place of residence (on- campus versus off-campus students). Significant differences based on involvement were found on comparison of gender and academic classification. The qualitative remarks provided detailed information on the use of services, how or if those services have aided in the transition to college, and needed services. Research findings have implications for institutions that provide "special services" for African American students. Implications for the staff members administering the services include assessment of current services and designing of services to meet needs of a pluralistic campus community.
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