If Not Us Then Who? Exploring the Role of HBCUs in Increasing Black Student Engagement in Study Abroad
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Black students are alarmingly underrepresented in participation in study abroad experiences. The reasons for this vary, but are most often consists of barriers, such as financial constraints, lack of support from family, and fear of racial discrimination. Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are regarded as sanctuaries for Black students with emphasis on their commitment to providing low-income Black students with positive and nurturing educational experiences. As such, HBCUs are believed to be positioned to assist in overcoming the barriers to participation in study abroad for Black students. However, because they receive significantly less resources, they are limited in their ability to provide adequate programming and initiatives. In this conceptual paper, student engagement and marginality and mattering theories are used to explore strategies and recommendations for ways that HBCUs can both enhance their programs and increase overall engagement of Black students in study abroad.