Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Adult Education

Committee Chair

Jeffery Wilson

Committee Member

Mitsunori Misawa

Committee Member

William Akey

Committee Member

Patricia Murrell


While higher education personnel continue to be challenged in fostering student persistence, they are especially perplexed with how to promote higher persistence and retention rates among African American men. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand how African American male undergraduate students persist at a predominantly white institution. Interactionalist Theory and the Conceptual Model of Black Student Attrition were helpful in framing this study.Semi-structured interviews were conducted to understand how 11 African American men persist in higher education. The critical incident technique was use to learn about obstacles these men encounter in their educational paths. Data analysis produced these seven themes: (1) Exposure to rigorous high school curriculum, (2) Encouragement or inspiration is essential, (3) Having a sense of motivation, (4) Educational aspirations beyond a bachelor's degree, (5) Involvement in campus-based organizations, (6) Connecting with minority faculty and staff, and (7) Determined to overcome obstacles.The study serves as a reference for higher education administrators, faculty, and staff with an interest in promoting African American men to persist in higher education. The study can also aid parents and young African American males with aspirations to attend college; equipping them with tools for being successful in higher education environments.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.