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dc.contributor.authorBurnette, Diane Montgomery
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study was to understand the strategic role of the continuing higher education initiative in advancing the traditional mission of public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The study was guided by the following research questions: (1) What are the social and political interests that influence continuing higher education in public HBCUs? and (2) How are the social and political interests negotiated by the continuing higher education organizational unit? This qualitative study was conducted during the spring and summer 2007 semesters at seven public HBCUs. There were a total of twelve participants in the study, three senior academic officials and nine continuing higher education program directors. Data collection methods included topical interviews, the analysis of primary and secondary documents, and field notes collected through observations. The definition of the underserved as related to the traditional mission of public HBCUs has been redefined beyond race to include students who are displaced due to time and place barriers. These students are typically working professionals, adults, and nontraditional students. The study found that within the context of a post-Brown school desegregation mission, continuing higher education becomes one strategy by which public HBCUs reach out to a new population of nontraditional, adult students. Continuing higher education also promotes a more racially diverse environment at public HBCUs by attracting non-minority students. Finally, the study found that continuing higher education supports statewide economic development initiatives and creates political gain for public HBCUs. Thus continuing higher education is central to promoting a new mission focused on the assimilation of public HBCUs into the higher education mainstream. However, the assimilationist strategies promoted by continuing higher education is perceived as a threat to the cultural and ideological identity of the public Black college. The conclusions of the study were: (1) continuing higher education facilitates the advancement of a post-Brown mission for public HBCUs; (2) continuing higher education is at the nexus of social and political conflicts affecting public HBCUs; and (3) continuing higher education leaders use strategies to negotiate the conflicts between the old and new mission that are consistent with their marginal status within the institution. KEYWORDS: Adult education, Adult students, Continuing higher education, Higher education, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Nontraditional student
dc.subjectAdult education
dc.subjectAdult students
dc.subjectContinuing higher education
dc.subjectHigher education,Historically Black Colleges and Universities
dc.titleMission critical
dc.title.alternativethe strategic role of continuing higher education in advancing the traditional mission of public historically black colleges and universities
dc.description.departmentLifelong Education, Administration and Policy
dc.description.majorAdult Education
dc.description.advisorRonald Cervero
dc.description.committeeRonald Cervero
dc.description.committeeTalmadge Guy
dc.description.committeeJuanita Johnson-Bailey
dc.description.committeeDerrick Alridge

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