Pinnacle Educational Research & Development

(ISSN: 2360-9494)

January 2014, Vol.2 (1).

© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


A focus on the future: Pathways for undergraduate student persistence at North Carolina public historically Black Colleges and Universities

Damon R. Wade

Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Assessment
Elizabeth City State University
1704 Weeksville Rd, Elizabeth City, NC 27909, U.S.A

Accepted 23 January, 2014; Available Online 26 January, 2014


Undergraduate withdrawal is a problem for public historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in North Carolina. Research indicates that many factors contribute to this problem, including student personal characteristics, family background, and high school academic achievement. The purpose of this study was to learn whether student developmental courses, financial aid receipt, and parental socioeconomic status are predictive of undergraduate student withdrawal in public HBCUs in North Carolina. A sample of participants included first-time, first-year students who entered four public post-secondary institutions in North Carolina during the academic period from August 1999 to May 2005. Findings of the study suggest that a significant relationship exists between developmental math scores, a financial aid award, parental income of students, and undergraduate student withdrawal. Although the study utilized HBCUs in North Carolina, the students studied included ethnicities other than Blacks. While the study is exploratory, a number of policy implications and interventions are suggested.

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