Alumni Perceptions of the Educational Benefits of Their Graduate Degrees from a PBI


  • Rasha Elhage Chicago State University
  • Olanipekun Laoesebikan Chicago State University
  • Kimberly Black-Parker Chicago State University



Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), Minority Serving Institutions, African American graduate students, graduate education, educational benefits


Much of the research on the benefits of graduate education for minority students has focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Little has been done on Predominantly Black Institutions. This case study attempts to shed light on alumni perceptions of the benefits of their graduate education at a Predominantly Black Institution (PBI), Chicago State University. The researchers surveyed the accessible population of Chicago State University alumni who completed requirements for their master’s and doctoral degrees between the academic years 2008 and 2018. Results indicate that perceived benefits fell into two categories: 1) personal benefits that accrued to the graduate and 2) enabling benefits that encouraged the completion of graduate study. Personal benefits included personal fulfillment, an enhanced knowledge of a profession or discipline, and advancement in a career including promotions and salary raises, while some enabling benefits included perceived program quality, the financial accessibility of graduate study at a PBI, and a supportive learning environment. Findings from this study of alumni can lend insights to effective approaches to teaching graduate students from diverse backgrounds.