African-Amercan Retention at Kalamazoo College
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As an African-American senior at Kalamazoo College, I have traveled a road seldom traveled by other African-American students. Many started the marathon, but many grew weary and saw it best to leave the race before it was over. By being one of the few survivors at the small, predominately white institution, at times I felt lonely and alienated, and I often questioned my reasons for continuing. In retrospect, I can see the importance of persisting at a small, predominantly white institution, and I would like to see more African-American students finish this particular marathon. I am particularly interested in increasing the retention rates of African-Americans at Kalamazoo College. I can relate to and have experienced many of the problems in the predominately white institution that causes others to leave prematurely. Much of the material in my research resonates with my personal feelings. The signs and symptoms of attrition that I thought were unique to my situation are documented in countless books and articles, which helped me realize that I am not alone. It is my aim to aid in the struggle in an attempt to help Kalamazoo College be a more comfortable place for young African-Americans that will follow me. Kalamazoo College is a good institution for many, but much work needs to be done to make it a place where more African-Americans can feel comfortable with identifying themselves with it. Strides have been taken towards this goal, and the i1nplementation of my suggestions may be the factor that will give a greater percentage of African-American students the inclination to complete their education at Kalamazoo College.