Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Janice Kelly

Second Supervisor

Byron Hargrove


The primary purpose of this qualitative study was to discover how a focus group of African American and Latino male sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduates participating in New York State’s Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) perceived the role of HEOP student involvement and peer support in helping them persist beyond the first-year at predominantly White Institution. The focus group participants reported generally positive and consistent perceptions. They believed that the HEOP services (e.g., academic advisement, workshops, and career counseling) helped them to persist and change their (academic) mindsets. They also appreciated the available HEOP services, the staff commitment, and the tuition scholarships, book vouchers and Metrocards. Although the participants believed that the HEOP peer support allowed them to take better accountability, some students still struggled utilizing the HEOP services and support. Recommendations for future research include examining other HEOP subpopulations and using other qualitative designs.

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