The learning experiences of members of an Africentric Support Group at a small urban-based Nova Scotian university

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Headley, Randy
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Mount Saint Vincent University
The learning experiences of Black students at post-secondary institutions in Canada is not a commonly researched topic. However, it is an area of study that generates many questions, with little to no answers. My investigation about the learning experiences of ten (10) Black students at a small urban-based Nova Scotia university, who are part of an Africentric support group (ASG), will provide some of the answers by foregrounding the experiences and voices from the data collected during a focus group and one-to-one interviews. This study centers the voices of four participants from Africa, three from Canada and three from the Caribbean and Bermuda. Using an Africentric Informed Qualitative Research Methodology, I engage participants to take ownership of the research and to become equal with the researcher. By using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, the emerging themes suggest that the ASG plays a significant role in the learning experiences of participants, although they struggle with issues such as alienation from the curriculum and classroom, racial discrimination, stereotype and cultural identity issues. By exploring the influence of the ASG on the learning experiences of these participants, I was able to show that an Africentric perspective is required to make any significant changes to the learning experiences of Black students at a small urban-based Nova Scotia university.
Africentric learning experiences, Nova Scotia, Africentric support group