Quantitative Study on Perceptions of Support Services and Student Persistence at a Southern University

Quantitative Study on Perceptions of Support Services and Student Persistence at a Southern University

Author: 
Dorothy Miller
Program of study: 
Ph.D./HEA
Abstract: 
This quantitative correlational study examined and described Black students’ perceptions of support services and their relationships to student persistence at a Historically Black College University (HBCU) in Southwest Georgia between 2006 and 2012. The research problem presented is the decreasing persistence rates of Black students at HBCUs. The study used descriptive statistics and regression analysis to address the three research questions. The ServQual® survey obtained the quantitative data from the purposive sampling of Black males and Black females attending the subject HBCU. The study rejected the null hypotheses suggesting a relationship between perceptions of support service and minority student persistence. National minority retention rates remain low when compared to other populations (NCES, 2012). Although the retention rates at HBCUs are also low when compared to other universities, the targeted university rates remain above the national average. This finding is important indicating the relevance of HBCUs. Increasing minority student retention is an important agenda as it decreases student loan default rates and increases the ability of U.S. citizens to compete in a global marketplace. This research study provided critical information substantiating the relevance of HBCUs and the relationship between perceptions of support services and minority student persistence.
Dedication: 
Throughout life, one encounters many people. Some people become friends, lovers, teachers, sparring partners, or spiritual guides. Dr. Ken Miller you have fulfilled all these roles in my life. In the words of Jerry Mcguire, you complete me. To all of our children, Chaquita, Tiffany, Aaron, Dashawn, Keianna, Cameron, Nia, Austin, and Mikiah, never give up. Always reach higher than where you can presently see and faith will be there to bridge the gap between where you are and where you are destined to go. To my grandbabies Renee, Riley, Carter, and Erin, Nana loves you and hopes this research enhances your future. Mom, I know that you are smiling and telling all of our relatives in heaven about my accomplishments but make sure you tell them that I could not have done any of this without your love and support. To all my siblings (especially Ethel Bandy-Drake and Linda Weary), my nieces, and my nephews, you are never too old to accomplish your dreams. Never let your background or environments hinder your future. Finally, to my Administering Grace Church family, thanks for all your prayers and support.
Acknowledgements: 
I want to acknowledge the following individuals for their continued encouragement, support, and guidance throughout the dissertation process including my mentor and chair, Dr. Mimi Stout, and my committee members, Dr. Robert Amason and Dr. Catherine Dikes. I also extend gratitude to my friends, colleagues, and university administrators whose encouragement and support enabled me to endure such a rigorous program. I also thank all of the participants who gave of their time and insight.