Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Claudia L. Edwards

Second Supervisor

Jennifer Schulman


This study used Harper’s (2012) anti-deficit achievement approach to examine the perceptions of Black males who have succeeded at a predominately White institution. The research brought together in-class pedagogical practices, self-efficacy, and student involvement as learning constructs linked to academic success. Qualitative research methodology captured the experiences of 13 participants through face-to-face individual interviews to gain insight into the learning environment that best engaged, retained, and helped persistence toward graduation. Participants consisted of juniors and seniors with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and on track to graduate on time. Analysis indicated participants developed meaningful networks of support with family, peers, and faculty and participated in activities, which enriched skill development and overall support of their community on and off campus. The seven emergent themes included characteristics of the university, caring and engaging faculty, innovative teaching methods, motivations for success, personal development and community support, reasons for departure, and support services needed for success. Implications include ways to increase enrollment, retention, persistence, and graduation rates. Recommendations include the need for faculty and staff to develop stronger relationships with Black males, increase the number of Black faculty members to provide more outreach, institute stronger collaboration between Student Affairs and Academic Affairs, establish a resource center dedicated to Black male success, make connections to successful Black alumni, and develop a high school to college preparatory program to v increase access and opportunity. Recommendations for future research include the duplication of this study with Latino males to determine commonalities or differences in experiences.

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