An Examination of Community College Black Male Student Athletes’ Perceptions of Student Support Services and Identifying Methods for Improving Service Delivery

Charles W. Richburg III, St. John Fisher College


Black male student athletes' enrolled in community colleges are a vastly understudied population. Statistically, the success rate of earning an associate degree and transferring to a four year institution of higher education is dismal. The focus of this study was to capture the perceptions of Black male student athletes and student support services providers as they pertained to access, use, and delivery of services. Another focus of this study was to identify ways in which Black male student athletes and student support services providers could help to improve delivery of those services. Participants for this study included three Black male student athletes and three student support services providers who were part of the same urban community college Within the framework of a multiple case study methodology, data collected for this research included, in-depth individual interviews, observations, and surveys. The data collected was analyzed and triangulated using cross case and descriptive analysis. In addition, several rounds of coding were used and findings revealed the major themes. Three prominent themes emerged from the data analysis and coding: the need to build collaborative relationships, the perceptions of racial bias, and the need for a liaison to serve as a link between Black male student athletes and student support services providers. In addition to common themes shared by most of the participants, the findings also highlighted areas where the perceptions of participants were in conflict. Participants also offered solutions they believed would help resolve perceived problems.