Thursday, January 10, 2019

URSP Student Jalah Townsend Researches the Experience of Black Students at George Mason

This semester, I have had the opportunity to complete a research project on the experience of Black students at George Mason. This project specifically explores the impact that identity centered organizations have on the transition of first year Black students in order to find effective ways to support these students. I became interested in this topic after realizing that the term “diverse” now appears in every university’s mission statement. However, as universities are transitioning to include minority populations, employees are often unprepared to support these students, especially within a student’s transition from high school into college. As a result, many colleges and universities rely on the support given to students through their peers through identity centered organizations that pertain to a student’s race or ethnicity such as organizations like the Black Student Alliance, the Caribbean Student Association and the African Student Association. Through these organizations, many first-year students have the opportunity to find a community that gives them a positive experience which often contributes to their successful transition into college.
I am grateful for this opportunity as it will help me prepare for the future. I am hoping to receive my master’s degree in Higher Education where I will essentially study the experiences of students at various universities in America. In order to complete research such as this, having the experience in completing multiple interviews each week, like I have this semester is invaluable. This semester, I have learned so much- what works and what doesn’t and from this experience, I have truly learned that my passion lies in student affairs.