Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca, EdD

Second Supervisor

Gina DiTullio, EdD


The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological qualitative study was to examine the perspectives of parents, male graduates of color, and educators to determine what practices and interventions worked best to enable young men of color to graduate from high school. A purposive sampling model was used to select four parents, four educators, and four male high school graduates for a total of 12 participants in the study. Parents, educators, and high school male graduates of color have an essential role in developing a culture or environment that increases academic achievement for males of color and all students. This study explored how young men of color coped with transition through the lens of Schlossberg’s transition theory.

Using semi-structured, one-to-one interviews with open-ended questions, the 12 participants shared their perceptions regarding increasing the graduation rate for young men of color. Several themes emerged from this study in response to the research questions, which resulted in four key findings: relationships make the difference, how young men navigate through life challenges matter, young men need to have their voices heard and understood, and school leadership makes the difference. The study’s findings provided recommendations for increasing graduation rates; for assisting schools to assist principals, superintendents, community organizations; and for all stakeholders to invest in improving the graduation rate for young men of color.

Available for download on Friday, September 13, 2024

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