The Impact of Students' Perceptions of Academic Advisors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Literature Review

The Impact of Students' Perceptions of Academic Advisors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Literature Review

Leroy Hawkins (Delaware State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2177-9.ch005

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a history of academic advising and Historically Black Colleges and Universities related to race and gender as it relates to students' perceptions and the impact of different types of advising. The chapter will accomplish these goals by comparing gender-based issues and compare the perceptions of undergraduate students assigned to female academic advisors with undergraduate students assigned to male academic advisors at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) located in a Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. The study will also compare advising styles and issues in regard to both the social and academic connections using Tinto's interactionist framework.
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Background

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

Evident inequality between the races of students in American colleges and universities led to the creation of special institutions and organizations that could take care of racially diverse students, define the quality of their relations, and clarify the standards according to which students may or may not get an opportunity and be educated (Orfield, 2015). Nowadays, there are many schools, colleges, and universities where Black, Hispanic, Asian, and White students are free to study together. Still, the presence of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) plays a more important role than the fact that many current educational institutions try to solve the above-mentioned problems.

In America, there are several HBCUs that were established before the Civil War, the war against slavery and inequalities people suffered from. Many African Americans believed that an opportunity to get a higher education is the sign of social progress and even the essence of citizenship that is important for Americans (Allen et al., 2007). The Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia was the first HBCU created as an opportunity to promote a teacher training college (Kuhn, 2011). On the one hand, the attempt to provide African Americans with higher education was made. On the other hand, this kind of education was virtually non-existent (Thelin, 2012). After the proclamation of the Higher Education Act in 1965, Historically Black Colleges and Universities were defined as “institutions of higher learning… whose principal mission was then, as is now, the [higher] education of black Americans” (Wilson, 2011, p. 5).

Today, the Americans can make use of more than 100 HBCUs that can be found in the southern region of the country (Riess, 2015). Such institutions play an important role in the lives of many Americans due to the possibility to reduce the gaps in education and work and the provision of the opportunities for the African-American students and their families. Historically Black Colleges and Universities became a new chance to solve old problems and identify new opportunities. These institutions continue to this day to provide students with a quality education for all students in need (Allen et al., 2007).

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