Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Dr. Jamie D. Smith


This transcendental phenomenological study examined how Black fathers’ perception of their own and their father’s fatherhood impacts persistence in community college. This study interviewed six Black male community college students with children in New York State. The study posed three research questions: (1) How do Black male college students experience fatherhood (from a son’s perspective) facilitating or impeding community college completion? (2) How do Black male college students experience their fatherhood (from a father’s perspective) facilitating or impeding community college completion? and (3) In the experience of Black male college students, how do community colleges support Black students who are fathers? Findings show that fatherhood acts as a catalyst to community college completion for Black student-fathers, that children are a central motivation for persistence for Black student-fathers, and support systems in community colleges are lacking for Black student-fathers. The six emergent themes included parenting matters, impenetrable lifelong connections, resilience and progression, desire to be living proof, typical unnecessary obstacles, and true knowledge and acceptance. Recommendations for practice include recognizing Black student-fathers, implementing support programs specific to Black student-fathers, and actively recruiting Black male faculty and support staff. Recommendations for future research include broadening research nationally, including 4-year institutions, and examining student-fathers of different races.

Included in

Education Commons