The Center for Research on College to Workforce Transitions, which is housed in the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, has published a new research brief examining internships at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The report, titled “What do we know about internships at HBCUs? A review of the literature and agenda for future research,” was authored by UW–Madison’s Matthew Hora and Jacqueline Forbes, with Deshawn Preston of the United Negro College Fund.
Hora is the founding director of the CCWT, a research scientist at WCER, and an assistant professor of adult and higher education with the departments of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies, and Educational Policy Studies. Forbes is a doctoral student in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.
The research brief is described as follows in the abstract:
Internships and other high-impact practices (HIPs) that feature experiential learning are being increasingly promoted at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) as a way to support students’ career and academic success. In this paper we review the literature on what is known about HIPs and internships at HBCUs and how students’ racial identities have influenced interns’ experiences and outcomes. Our analysis finds little empirical research on internships at HBCUs and a general lack of in-depth and critical analysis on the ways that racial identity and the unique institutional cultures of HBCUs impact internships and Black student experiences. We then review contextual forces salient to Black interns’ experiences such as pervasive workplace discrimination, and theoretical frameworks that could inform future research on the ways that race, culture, institutional features and local “field effects” interact to shape student experiences and professional development. We conclude by outlining a research agenda for studying internships that foregrounds issues of racial justice, adopts elements of Bourdieu’s relational sociology, and investigates how the unique cultures of HBCUs influence how internships are designed, implemented and experienced.
The full research brief is available for download, here.