Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Byron Hargrove

Second Supervisor

Christine Casey


The purpose of this qualitative, hermeneutic, phenomenological study was to learn how college-educated, employed Black males’ mentors successfully completed their undergraduate degrees and went on to be success stories in their career fields. The research focused on college persistence and career success by asking the mentors to comment about their experiences along four pipeline points (precollege socialization and readiness, college achievement, postcollege success, and employment postgraduation). The participants for this study were Black male mentors selected from a pool of active mentors serving Black male high school students in a one-on one setting at a male empowerment seminar held annually at a private college in New York in 2009 through 2012. Given the paucity of research in this area, this study used a qualitative research methodology in order to uncover and understand what lies behind Black male success before, during, and after college. Questionnaires and interviews were used as instruments to obtain data. The questionnaire collected demographic data that helped in the selection process. Four interview questions were used to explore college persistence and career success. The questions asked (a) how family members nurture and sustain Black male students’ interest in school, (b) how college experiences enable Black males to compete for careers in their fields, (c) what factors influenced Black male career choices, (d) and if they were employed in their desired careers. At the conclusion of the study, the researcher provided findings and recommendations that will help improve college persistence and career success for Black males.

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