How Faith Can Be Used to Help Black College Students Navigate Higher Education

How Faith Can Be Used to Help Black College Students Navigate Higher Education

Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-7090-9.ch009
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This chapter will conceptually examine through a constructivist paradigm how faith, spirituality, and religion can be used to help Black college students navigate higher education in order to enhance their well-being. Furthermore, this chapter will use models that have been developed to suggest recommendations for Black college students. Cross and Fhgaen-Smith's Model of Black Identity Development and Fowler's Model of Faith will be used in this chapter to theorize about how Black college students' faith can be essential in their advancement throughout college. There is a distinct difference between faith, religion, and spirituality. However, society references these ideologies interchangeably – so the author acknowledges their differences throughout this chapter and the interplay with them as well.
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Conceptually Examining A Model Of Black Identity Development

Student affairs is a field that has increasingly grown in providing empirical research that examines the racial identity development of both Black and White people and other racial minority groups (McEwen, 2003). Sue and Sue (2003) introduced a model that conceptualized the racial and cultural identities of various minorities. Nonetheless, various political and sociopolitical movements have specifically influenced Black individual’s racial identity development (Cross, 1978).

There are a host of models that attempt to tangibly demonstrate the development of those who identify as Black. The author believes no model can fully unravel the complexity of what is called “identity;” therefore, no model is unworthy of critique. And the author thinks models help make sense of subject matters that might be abstract and complex. Cross and Fhgaen-Smith’s Model of Black Identity Development help describe the process of blackness. Patton, Reen, Guido, and Quaye (2016) found the process of developing blackness is referred to as Nigrescene, which has six different sectors one can be experiencing in their blackness. The lowest sector starts at one and ascends to sector six, which represents the shift from unawareness to enlightenment of blackness. Nigrescence Patterns are markers that serve as checkpoints to where an individual is in their development (Cross, 1978; Patton, Reen, Guido, & Quaye, 2016). Nigrescence Patterns A, B, and C can be viewed as being embedded within all six sectors of the black identity development model.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Faith: A deep conviction in a structure or entity.

Development: A period of change or stages of changes over a timeframe.

Belief: The conviction, thoughts, or feelings towards a thing or someone.

Identity: The character traits of someone or a thing.

Retention: The persistence of something that is usually measurable for a distinct period of time.

Religion: A structural system that is rooted in a series of doctrines that are often also comprised of traditions, customs, and ways of being.

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