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This monograph draws upon theories of student involvement and persistence to demonstrate how cultural activities can involve and serve to validate underrepresented groups on campus. A critical element of minority student academic persistence is the extent to which students become integrated into the academic and social systems of their institutions. Such integration need not occur on a campus-wide level; student subcultures may form an effective base from which underrepresented students can create a niche and experience integration and persistence. Particularly salient is the degree to which institutional agents (faculty, staff, and student peers) facilitate the development of the social networks that provide cultural activities and facilitate campus involvement that allow underrepresented and disadvantaged students to bridge the gap between their own culture and the culture of their institutions. Case studies of four institutions' (University of California, San Diego; Southern University at New Orleans, Rhode Island College, and Southeastern Louisiana University) successful attempts to provide cultural activities and facilitate campus involvement for underrepresented students are included in this report. (Contains 41 references.) (MAB)

Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Biculturalism, College Attendance, College Students, Dropout Research, Enrollment Management, High Risk Students, Higher Education, Minority Group Influences, Minority Groups, School Holding Power, Student Alienation, Student Attrition, Student School Relationship, Student Subcultures

National Council of Educational Opportunity Associations, 1025 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 900, Washington DC 20005; phone: 202-347-7430.

Autor: Velasquez, Patrick


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