OSCAR J. DOWDELL-UNDERWOOD & ASSOCIATES
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Collegiate Education: Engaging Inherent Power, Need and Desire to Succeed

Typically, post-secondary education relates to students, particularly minority students, from a deficit mindset. From this perspective, students are unable to achieve academically because they are devoid of the qualities, experience, skills, and/or knowledge necessary for them to achieve. This perception often translates into giving students remedial resources. However, while studying transition, retention and persistence among collegiate Black males, Dr. Dowdell-Underwood found that engagement of students’ inherent power, need and desire to be successful was among the strongest predictors for academic achievement, not remediation. Further, this inherent power, need, and desire emerged when students were expected to create and contribute value, rather than be mere recipients of value created and contributed by others - expected to fulfill their burden of hope. The groundbreaking research underlying this new approach and strategies to effectuate it are outlined in Burden of Hope: Transition, Retention, and Collegiate Black Men.

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