The purpose of this study is to understand how social capital and social support influence the academic success of Black student-athletes that attend predominantly White institutions of higher education (PWIHEs). Utilizing a qualitative approach, the authors conducted narrative interviews to understand the experiences of Black student-athletes (N = 9) at a PWIHE in the southwestern region of the USA. Employing critical race theory, the Black student-athletes revealed their experiential realities as a racial minority within the academic environment. The findings revealed that their academic success was contingent upon their interactions with faculty as their status as Black student-athletes promoted positive and negative interactions. As such, Black student-athletes leveraged their social capital, or social networks consisting of parents and family, to provide social support. Acknowledging the unique “culture” of student-athletes, college and university athletic departments and their personnel may find it beneficial to create proactive avenues for parental engagement to aid in student-athlete adjustment and matriculation.
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Graduation Success Rate (GSR) reflects the proportion of student-athletes that progress toward degree completion and student-athletes that complete their college degree. The rate also accounts for student-athletes that transfer to and transfer from an institution of higher education (NCAA 2015).
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Compliance with Ethical Standards
The enclosed research study is in compliance with the ethical standards for the universities in which the research was supported. The study was approved by Texas A&M University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for human research participants. All participants were informed about the research study and signed the consent form.
Conflict of Interest
There are no potential conflicts of interest (e.g., funding, honoraria, employment) that were directly or indirectly related to this research.
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Carter-Francique, A.R., Hart, A. & Cheeks, G. Examining the Value of Social Capital and Social Support for Black Student-Athletes’ Academic Success. J Afr Am St 19, 157–177 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12111-015-9295-z
- Black student-athletes
- Social capital
- Social support
- Academic success
- Critical race theory