• Exploring the Lived Experiences of Rural African American Millennials at Predominantly White Institutions

      Guyton, Corey
      The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of rural African American Millennials attending predominantly White institutions (PWIs) and how they make meaning of these experiences. In-depth interviews were conducted with six students (graduate and undergraduate) who identified as being from a rural area, African American (or Black), and a Millennial. Seven major themes emerged from the study: the presence of college aspirations, desire to attend a historically Black college or university (HBCU), experiencing culture shock, lack of academic preparation, experiencing microaggressions, lack of parental involvement, and no desire to return home after graduation. Some major themes had sub-themes. Leaving their rural hometowns and moving to a new location presented various challenges for the research participants. All of the participants had transitional issues with either their new cities or their new college environments. In their new cities, participants struggled with a number of challenges such as traffic and diversity, and on their college campuses they struggled to fit in with other students, were not academically prepared, and did not know how to deal with autonomy. Recommendations for practice include intentional recruitment strategies designed specifically for rural African American Millennials, providing transitional resources for rural African American Millennials, and more training for faculty and staff about this student population.