Factor influencing the recruitment and retention of undergradutes as reported by African-American graduates of Texas A&M University between May 1998 and December 2003



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Texas A&M University


The purpose of this study was to examine the influential effects various factors had on the recruitment and the retention of African American undergraduates at Texas A&M University, as perceived by those African Americans who had successfully completed their plans of study and received baccalaureate degrees between May 1998 and December 2003. Data were acquired through e-mail surveys in which three massive e-mailings were broadcast from the collected files of The Association of Former Students of Texas A&M. In this survey, the questionnaire contained closed-ended questions with five-part Likert-type responses. Additionally, the African American alumni were provided the opportunity to recommend additional practices for future recruitment and retention of African American undergraduates at A&M. An extensive review of the literature that supports this record of study regarding recruitment and retention of African American undergraduate students was made, and in the review, family involvement in education and home/school/campus characteristics revealed numerous studies that support the positive relationship between family involvement in education and success. There is, however, evidence of barriers, frustration, and discouragement experienced by these African American undergraduate stakeholders in their campus relationships. Research findings of this study included:

  1. The research showed that for this population, the academic standing of A&M is the most influential recruitment practice. Recruitment efforts should concentrate on the most effective recruitment strategies by developing materials that highlight and focus on academic standing as reported by leading publications indicating how A&M is ranked against colleges and universities across the nation.
  2. The research showed that the available curriculum at A&M is also an influential recruitment practice. From data discovered in this research, engineering, computer technology, psychology, and journalism were the most popular curriculum attraction to African American students. Implications from the research include:
  3. One significant difference was the finding that the African American females looked more favorably on an institution of higher learning that had a larger enrollment.
  4. The other significant difference was the finding that African American males looked more favorably at institutions of higher learning that held higher national ranking in sports in which they were interested.