Research Brief: Predominantly Black Institutions: Pathways to Black Student Educational Attainment

Posted by Center for Minority Serving Institutions on March 12, 2019

Executive Summary

Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) account for 3% of all postsecondary institutions, yet enroll 9% of all Black college students (Office of Postsecondary Education, 2018). These institutions provide an avenue for educational access and opportunity for many Black students pursuing higher education. Despite the growing number of PBIs and the number of Black students they educate, these institutions still remain one of the least researched Minority Serving Institution (MSI) types in the country. The very limited literature that does exist on PBIs is not extensive, and in many cases, the scholarship simply mentions PBIs amidst a discussion on other more researched MSIs. Much of the literature does not delve into how these institutions are supporting their students, how they are continuing to strive, despite limited resources, and the value these institutions add to the overall higher education landscape. As the number of African Americans enrolling in colleges and universities steadily increases and as institutions shift towards creating more inclusive environments for all students, there is a need for further exploration of how PBIs are evolving to best accommodate the marginalized groups they serve, particularly low-income Black students. This research brief will examine five PBIs that have received federal funding to enhance institutional capacity to support more low-income Black students, and highlight how these institutions are providing educational opportunity to Black students.

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