When the Majority becomes the Minority

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When the Majority becomes the Minority

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1. When the Majority becomes the Minority Gerald Davis Tennessee State University 7/28/07

2. Introduction In the last ten years, research has shown that there has been an increase in the complex interaction of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). (Hall & Closson, 2005) Differences in the student populations at traditionally Black colleges and Universities have often raised questions regarding how the differences in social culture impact student interaction and experience, specifically for White students at a predominately Black institution. To build and maintain this type of environment, and create a space for social interaction amongs the groups can be prove to be difficult requiring a unique approach from the administrative persepctive as well as effective and appropriate student development initiatives. In order to encourage such an experience to take place, all aspects of university life must be involved including administrators, faculty, and students.

3. Overview DIVERSITY AMONGST STUDENTS There are unique and specific differences in student populations at HBCUs What is the potential social impact of integrating the educational experience at HBCUs Potential implications for future interactions of both white and non-white students that attend HBCUs

4. Current Literature and Research Limited research available regarding the experience of both Black and White students in the collegiate setting in majority and minority institutions Research is further limited when race is the primary factor in social differences Lack of understanding regarding separate social experiences can hinder the effort to integrate the social environment

5. Summary/Recent Trends Research has shown a larger number of White students attending historically Black institutions Impact could lead to changes in personal, social, and environmental dynamics The created social landscape is proving more inclusive and beneficial for students of all backgrounds Issues/Concerns regarding disconnect or potential misunderstanding of HBCU culture have to be addressed in order to create a productive atmosphere

6. Discussion Social implications could provide template for future personal, social, and workplace relationships/experiences Increasing role of diversity and multiculturalism in education as a potential indicator of societal shift in behaviors and attitudes Impact of increased positive race relations in the higher education community

7. Implications for Project Awareness of historical and current successful trends toward multiculturalism and diversity in the field of education Increased discussion regarding race relations and community that can be incorporated as an educational agenda What role might the influence of an integrated academic experience have on future social behavior

8. Conclusion Particular attention should be given toward the academic experiences of White students attending HBCUs in the areas of research and literature in order to inform the field of education As educators, its important to address the relationship between the academic experience and its direct role in societal behavior and dynamics What are the potential ramifications of establishing a healthy/unhealthy environment in which students of all backgrounds feel appropriately supported and respected in the learning environment or receive a different experience

9. References Astin, A. (l990). The black undergraduate: Current status and trends in the characteristics of freshmen. Los Angeles, CA: Higher Education Research Institute Graduate School of Education Conrad, C. F., & Brier, E. M. (1997). Eactors contributing to the matriculation of White students in public HBCUs. Journal for a Just a-Caring Education, 3(1), 37-63. D'Augelli, A. R., & Hershberger, S. L. (1993). African American undergraduates on a predominately White campus; academic factors, social networks, and campus climate. Journal of Negro Education, 62, 67-81.

10. References Continued. Hall, B. & Closson, R. (2005). When the Majority is the Minority. Journal of College Student Development. 4(2), 53-67. Hart, P. S. (1984). Institutional effectiveness in the productions of black Baccalaureates. Washington, OH: Jones. Hickson, M. E. (2002). What role does the race of professors have on the retention of students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Journal of Education, 123(1), 186-189.

11. Websites/Resources 1. http://www.edchange.org/multicultural This site provides resources regarding multicultural education, self development and awareness and forums for educators to interact http://www.diversityweb.org This site provides a comprehensive collections of campus best practices and resources for academians intending to place diversity at the forefront of the academy's educational and societal mission http://www.nadohe.org This site provides information to the public and to its member institutions regarding organizing, supporting, and guiding the collective efforts of individuals involved in institutional leadership to transform institutions and advance the ideals of diversity.

12. Resources Continued http://www.hbcunetwork.com This site is dedicated to providing news and information to the HBCU community, as well as serves as a discussion forum regarding topics relevant in the African American community including the changing social context of of HBCUs http://www.alloneheart.com This site is to promote harmony and unity among different cultures, races, religions, age groups, sexual gender and orientation, physical and mental abilities. To encourage tolerance through raised consciousness by education and experience.

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