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Strategies for Improving the Retention of Engineering and Technology Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

Author(s): Walter O. Craig, III

Journal: International Transaction Journal of Engineering, Management, & Applied Sciences & Technologies
ISSN 2228-9860

Volume: 2;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 561;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Retention improvement

Retention is a major factor in an institution’s credibility and financial stability. A greater emphasis is being placed on retention and attrition in higher education in the United States. While lack of persistence behavior and withdrawal are problems with all undergraduate students, this is particularly the case for African-American students. The barriers to minority student retention continue to be: the cost of education, isolating campus environments, a lack of peer and faculty engagement, inadequate math and science preparation, heavy work schedule hours versus class preparation. To minimize the impact of this disturbing trend of students not pursuing an engineering or technology degree, a priority must be set to generate student interest in graduation with these degrees. The objectives of this paper are: (1) to define an effective retention program, (2) to discuss general retention strategies, (3) to identify challenges or barriers to overcome a lack of retention of engineering and technology students, (4) to discuss retention strategies used at an HBCU or Southern University (SU), and (5) to provide recommendations for improvement of retention in the College of Engineering at SU.

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