Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the internal and external resources that influence African American males to persist through an undergraduate degree
by Tabari, Kim, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 163; 3574913
Abstract (Summary)

Educational leaders and institutions struggle with increasing the persistence and graduation rates of Black male college students. Research on Black male college students has often been approached from a deficit lens that shows their challenges and poor academic tenure. This study explored what internal and external tools were utilized by Black male college students to influence them to persist through their undergraduate years from an anti-deficit lens. Participants included 18 Black male college students who had junior or senior academic standing at a public 4-year university in California, ranging in age from 20 to 38 years old. Data collected was based on one-on-one interviews, and analyzed using Nvivo 1 0 data analysis software. The data was coded into sub-themes around a Community Cultural Wealth model and Critical Race Theory (CRT) components.

Data revealed that internal influences used by participants included personal motivation, being a role model, a sense of obligation and responsibility, confronting racial microaggressions, and proving self-worth. Tools participants used that were external influences included campus involvement, supportive faculty and staff members, financial and emotional support, parental aspirations, early exposure to college, talking out-loud, friendships, and being successful in order to give back.

Findings showed Black males indeed use a variety of capitals to navigate their way through college and that they are complex individuals. Each participant had a different collegiate experience related to their race, gender and socioeconomic status as a Black male college student.

Recommendations for practitioners include (a) the development of campus programs that will positively impact their understanding, knowledge, values and skills they need to improve as college students (e.g., culturally relevant programs); and (b) to create critical race pedagogy examples on all subjects in order to diversify students' experiences and request that faculty infuse CRT tenets into their teaching methods and class syllabi.

Recommendations for future research on this topic include (a) conducting a longitudinal study regarding Black males from freshman to senior year status to determine trends, similarities, or differences; and (b) to explore what perceptions students have about their institutions and how responsive they are to students, in particular Black males.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Locks, Angela M.
Commitee: Hamilton, John, O'Brien, Jonathan
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black studies, Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership
Keywords: African-American, Black men, College success, Degree completion, External resources, Internal resources, Persistence
Publication Number: 3574913
ISBN: 978-1-303-52101-0
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