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A phenomenological study of Native Southern California African Americans who earned Bachelor’s degrees from HBCUs and graduate degrees from predominately white institutions in Southern California

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A phenomenological study of Native Southern California African Americans who earned Bachelor’s degrees from HBCUs and graduate degrees from predominately white institutions in Southern California

A phenomenological study of Native Southern California African Americans who earned Bachelor’s degrees from HBCUs and graduate degrees from predominately white institutions in Southern California

Chapter IV: Data Analysis

 

The objective of this study is to establish the effectiveness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in serving the interests and needs of black nativeCalifornians. That is those who choose to leave Southern Californiaand attend and graduate from a Historically Black College or University as an undergraduate and then comparing their experience to their experiences at a higher education institution for graduate studies.

To fulfill the purpose of the study, data had to be collected, analysed and the findings presented. The methods used to collect data were questionnaires and face to face interviews. The interview and questionnaire questionsare same for consistency. Questionnaires each consisting of nine questions were sent to different individuals who met the sample requirement by emailfollowed by face to face interviews. The same questionnaire was also published in an online tool called Survey Monkey which targetedthe majority of the respondents. The total numbers of respondents targeted were 100.The targeted population was from the state of California. Specifically,Southern California, who are African American, had attended and graduated from a four-year, undergraduate program at a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and then a mainstream (PWI) institution back in their native state of California.

 

This chapter presents an analysis of the findings based on the responses to these questionnaires and the face-to-face interviews.

 

 

 

Response Rate

Twenty-six respondents out of the targeted forty-fourparticipated ine face to face interview.Thirteen were male, and thirteen were female. Therefore, the response rate of the face to face interview was59.1%. Out of the 60questionnaires sentby email, 42 respondents replied. Therefore, the response rate of the questionnaire sent by mail was 70%.  More respondents preferred to answer the questions via the Survey Monkey. Therefore, out of the planned total of 200 respondents, a total of 117 respondents answered the questionnaire. Therefore, the average response rate was 58.5%.

Mode of Data CollectionNumber of Targeted Respondents   Respondent Turnout   Response Rate in %

 

Face to face interview

 

442659.1
Questionnaire by E-mail

 

1208470.0
Questionnaire on survey monkey29724.14

 

 

However, It must be noted that not all the questions in the survey received 100% response rate. Besides, there were regrets. There were varied response rates for each question. All the 58 respondents responded to the first four questions. Hence, the first four questions received 100% rate. Item number 5 received a response rate of 88.03%. The next three issues received a response rate of 85.47%, in this section; 17 respondents skipped each question. The last issue received the lowest response rate. A response rate of 57.26% was recorded for this question.50 respondents skipped this question. There was an average of 89.08% response rate for all the questions that were responded to.

The table below illustrates the above information.

 

QuestionRespondentsNumber of respondents who skipped this question   Response Rate in Percentage
11170100
21170100
31170100
41170100
51031488.03
61001785.47
71001785.47
81001785.47
9675057.26

 

The subsequent sections show an analysis of the individual questions to fulfill each objective of the study,

“Graduate school related experiences while undergraduates at HBCUs compared to the experiences of graduates from public or private university graduate program in California (PWIs).”

Twelve respondents out of the total respondents reported that they did not understand this question fully.Nevertheless, themajority of them went ahead to answer it. However, this was counted among the regrets. The regrets formed 11.97% out of the total response.

The majority, 59.75% said that they had a better experience in HBCUs as compared to public or private university graduate schools California. Most of them noted that the bond between the peers and even with their professors was stronger in HBCUs than in PWIS.Those who attended an HBCU reported that their relationships were like that of a family. Also, a majority of them felt that being students in HBCU gave them more confidence. A study done by (Van Camp, 2009) and (Bentley-Edwards, Mar 2015), observes that there are closer professor-student relationships and also a closer peer to peer relationships among black Americans in HBCUs than the interracial relationships seen in PWIs.

A total of 28.28% of the total population reported that the experience at both institutions was similar. They noted that the amount of attention and care provided by the professors at both institutions were similar. None reported that PWIs had a better experience than HBCUs. It formed 0% of the total responses.

The table below summarizes the above information.

 

Institution   Response in %   Total Valid Response
HBCU had a better experience.59.75%

 

88.03%
PWI had a better experience0.0%
Both PWI and HBCU had similar experience

 

28.28%
Invalid response11.97%

 

Comparison of how black studentsin HBCUs relate with their professors comparedblack students in PWIs relate with their professors

As illustrated by the above bar graph it can be seen that HBCUs had a better or a close professor-student relationship. 57.14% said that their relationships with their professors were more like family. They had a closer working relationship with their professors than they had with the professors from PWIs. (Fountaine, 2012) also, notes that the relationship between students and teachers and also among the peers at the HBCUs is closer than those observed at the PWIs.28.57% of the total respondents felt that their relationships with professors from both institutions were similar. Finally, 14.29% of the total respondents reported that their relationship with their professors from PWIs was more consistent than they had with the professors from the HBCUs.

 

The presence or absence of discomforts; social, political or academic experience in HBCU and California universities

In this section, some response were incomplete, in that, some respondents noted cases of discomforts but did not specify whether it was social, political or academic discomfort.Both HBCUs and PWIs had various cases of discomforts.However, it must be noted that PWIs had an overwhelming majority in various areas.  PWIs had 100 cases of discomforts where 30 were social, 30 were political, and the other 30 were not specified. PWIs contributed 85.47% of the total cases of discomforts.

On the other hand, HBCUs had only 17 cases of distress which were political. HBCUs contributed only 14.53% of the total.Political issues contributed the overall majority which was 48.72%, and then social and unspecified tied at 25.64% each. Academic section did have any discomfort reported.

Generally, (Hamilton, 2009) observes that black American students are more comfortable in HBCU institutions that the black American students at PWI bodies.

The table below summarizes of the above analysis.

 

Discomforts
InstitutionDiscomfort presenceHow many?%SocialPoliticalAcademicUnspecified
HBCUsyes1714.53%01700
PWIsyes10085.47%3040030
Total 117100.00%30

25.64%

57

48.72%

0

0.0%

30

25.64%

 

Comparison of Black Americans in HBCUs involvement in extracurricular activities and Black Americans in PWIs participation in extracurricular activities all in percentage

 

 

Key

           10àextremely involved

            5àinvolved

            0ànot involved at all

As depicted in the figure above 71.42% of the respondents who attended HBCUs were extremely interested in the extra-curricular activity. 14.29% were involved, and 14.29% did not participate at all.On the other hand, 42.86% of the respondents who attended PWIs were not involved in any extracurricular activity.  28.57% were underrepresented while only 28.57% were extremely involved in extracurricular activities.The table below gives further insights on this.

 

InstitutionExtremely InvolvedInvolvedUnderrepresentedNot Involved
HBCUs71.42%14.29%0.0%14.29%
PWIs28.57%0.0%28.57%42.86%

 

How did the perceptions of black graduates of historically black colleges and universities regarding their undergraduate college program career preparation compare with the perceptions of black graduates of public or private colleges and universities in California for their graduate school program? a. Why did you choose both colleges you attended? b. Did you receive any scholarships at either or both institution? c. Did your family members or other influences (i.e.: high school teacher or coach) attend either or both universities you graduated from?

 

InstitutionConvenienceScholarshipsInfluence of FamilyPositive PerceptionNegative Perception
HBCUs033673317
PWIs670000

 

As illustrated above a majority of the black Americans attend HBCUs because of the influence of the people they are close to. 57.26% of them visit HBCUs because of the recommendation close relatives who attended the same institution. A similar trend was observed by (Kassie Freeman, 2002). 28.21% of them attend because scholarship program offered by this institutions. (Nia Imani Cantey, 2013) noted that financial constraints are a major factor that impedes African American from obtaining aneducation. 28.21% of black have positive perception about the HBCUs. Finally, 14.53% of the black Americans who attend HBCUs feel that there are still people who have a negative attitude towards the HBCUs.All the respondents who attended PWIs reported that they do so for convenience. Either they can afford, or a PWIs program fits into their schedules. None reported that they attend PWIS because of neither scholarships, influence by family nor positive perception.

 

How do the perceptions of black graduates of HBCUs and those black graduates of a public or private colleges and universities in California compare regarding post-graduation advantages associated with their graduate program experience? a. Are you working in the field of study that you completed at the HBCU or the California school? Explain in detail why or why not. b. How was the job search after both graduations, if you worked in between each program?”

Most respondents (57.14%) said they are working in the field of study they completed at the HBCU. 28.57% of the total respondents reported that they are working in the field of study they completed at the PWI. A minority of 14.29% said that they are not working at all. This disparity can be represented by the pie chart shown below.

 

How easy was the job searchafter graduating from HBCU or PWI

Not all respondents completely answered the question. A few respondents did not specify how easy or how difficult the job search was. Those who did not respond formed 5.13% out of the total response. The remaining 94.87% answered the questions thoroughly.Out of the remaining, 33.33% reported that it was easy to secure a job in the same field they completed from HBCU. However, the same percentage said that it is hard to secure a job in the same field of study they graduated from HBCU. Similarly (Gasman, 31 Mar 2010), observes that even though that black student does not fare well in the Predominantly white institutions, those who graduate from Historically Black Colleges have relatively the same success rate like those who graduated from predominantly white institutions.

On the other hand, 33.33% said that it was easy to secure a job in the same field they graduated from PWI. None reported that it was difficult to secure a job after graduating from the PWI. However, it must be noted that one respondent did not specify how difficult to secure a job.

The following bar graph depicts the above analysis.The following bar graph how easy it is for a black graduate from HBCUs to land a job compared to after they graduated from PWIs to a job in percentage.

How do the perceptions of black graduates of HBCUs regarding post-graduation advantages associated with their undergraduate program experience compare with the perceptions of the graduates from a PWI in California regarding their graduate program experience?

The majority,(66.67%)of those who responded perceive that the black graduates from HBCU had more post-graduation advantages than the graduates from PWI. A minority (16.66%) perceive that both HBCU and PWI tie. They believe no graduate has an advantage over the other (Gasman, 31 Mar 2010). Also, observes that both HBCU and PWI students have roughly the same competitive advantages after graduation

Finally, 16.67% believe that the graduate from PWI has amorepost-graduation advantageover the black graduates from HBCU. They believe the benefits of graduating from a PWI institution are more than being alumni of an HBCU. This information can be summarized in the table below.

 

InstitutionPost-Graduation Advantages in %Total Valid Response %
HBCU66.67%85.47%
PWI16.67%
Both HBCU and PWI tie16.66%

 

The following pie chart depicts these traits.

 

 

 

“Analysis of black Americans who are part of the alumni association in HBCU and California University. The reason as to why they are, or the reason as to why they are not part of alumni of their respective universities, and the reason as to why they donate or the reason as to why they do not donate to either or both institutions.”

Half (50%) of those who responded said that they are in the alumni association at the HBCU institution they attended.A minority (16.66%)reported that they are alumni at both the HBCU and PWI institutions they attended.A small percentage (16.67%)said that they are alumni of the PWI institution they attended. Generally (Brogdon, 2011) observes that institutions do not do enough to engage their black American alumni.Lastly, 16.67% reported that they are neitheractive alumnus of HBCU nor PWI institutions.Those who were active alumni of either school quoted tight schedules as being the reason for not doing so.

Half (50%)of those who attended an HBCU institution have made a donation to that organization. They said that they felt it is their duty to do so. None of those attended a PWI institution made a donation to their university. They quoted financial difficulties and busy schedule that constrain them from making any contributions.

 

The table below summarizes the above information.

 

 

 

 

 

InstitutionAlumni in %Reasons for not being in the Alumni AssociationDonation in %Reason for Donating or not DonatingTotal Valid Response in %
HBCU50%Tight schedules and financial difficulties.50%Goodwill 

85.47%

PWI16.67%0.0%Financial difficulties, busy schedules
Both HBCU and PWI16.66%0.0%
Neither PWI nor HBCU16.67%

 

Experiences that black Americans either in HBCUs or PWIs found interesting, or information or something that has not been addressed that they may want to share.

This section recorded the lowest response rate. Majority,57.26% out of the total respondents, responded to this question. Out of this 25% said that they had shared everything that needed to be shared and had nothing more to share.Half (50%) of the total respondents felt that HBCU imparted more self-confidence in them as African Americans. A quarter (25%)of those who responded thinks that both institutions were helpful.

The table below gives a summary of the above information.

 


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