Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

W. Jeff Wallis

Second Supervisor

Drew D. Allen


The purpose of this study was to explore and understand program directors’ perceptions of the Black Male Initiative (BMI) mentoring programs that were designed and structured at the City University of New York (CUNY) community colleges that aimed at increasing retention and graduation rates. A qualitative descriptive design was used to gain insight into how program directors considered the factors involved in designing BMI mentoring programs, how each factor influenced the program design, and the specific design elements that existed in each program. The interview participants included directors who were overseeing the CUNY BMI community college mentoring programs that were identified as exhibiting the best practices in structured mentoring. The findings indicate that the program directors perceived resource availability as the key factor when considering the design of the BMI mentoring programs. The results suggest that the objectives that were considered in the programs’ designs contributed to establishing a dynamic network of interdependent variables that would assist in meeting Black male students’ personal, academic, cultural, and social needs. Three unique design elements existed within the CUNY community college BMI mentoring programs that emerged as part of a larger set of design elements that shared distinct characteristics and represented a conceptual framework made up of five typologies. Future recommendations for higher education leaders and researchers include strategically rethinking how to better support the BMI program and using the five-typology framework to investigate its influence on Black male retention and graduation.

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