Graduation of minority students enrolled at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, 1985-1990

Mary Robinson Vaughn, Tennessee State University


This study was concerned with exploring the level of success experienced by Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University ion its efforts to recruit, admit, and retain white students at this historically black institution. The intent was to go beyond changes in the composition of the student body during the period 1985-1900 in order to examine in depth the outcomes experienced by white students in terms of academic achievement. Although actions taken by the University to attract a more diverse student population were in part a response to state and federal mandates on desegregation of institutions of higher learning, other motivations were also of some significance. These included a recognition that the pool of prospective students, white and black, is a declining one; economic survival may hinge on the ability to attract youth outside the traditional community served by the University. A review of the literature cited several critical strands in the recruiting, admitting, and retention processes as these factors pertained to the white student on a black campus. Reasons were forthcoming regarding the difficulty of recruiting a student body whose needs, interests, culture, and values were largely unknown. Ways in which these problems might be surmounted were stated. The literature discussed the ways in which students can be retained until graduation. And finally, several frameworks were elicited which offered various means of formulating an organizational development plan targeted on attracting and retaining white students on a predominately black campus. The information in the study concerned 76 white students in the period from 1985-1990. A determination was made as to the success of these students in matriculating into and graduating from, a traditionally black university. Such factors as program choices, average hours enrolled, and perseverance were recorded. While success was indeed possible, and the University was improving its record in attracting and retaining white students, more remains to be accomplished. How much in scarce resources should be expended on this effort remains in some doubt as does the direction of future restructuring of the program.

Subject Area

Higher education|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology|African Americans

Recommended Citation

Mary Robinson Vaughn, "Graduation of minority students enrolled at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, 1985-1990" (1996). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9812074.