Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Lift ev'ry voice: The resounding experiences of Black male student-athletes at a California community college
by McClellan, Michael L., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 173; 3574908
Abstract (Summary)

Black male student-athletes are entering the California community college (CCC) system at an unprecedented rate. CCCs have become a repository for Black males that have aspirations of competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I member institutions. This historically disenfranchised subgroup of students is required by the NCAA to achieve higher academic standards than their non-athletic peers. While students who are not governed by the NCAA, such as general students, have the freedom to transfer to four-year universities at a pace that matches their skill level and personal commitments, student-athletes must transfer at an accelerated pace.

The purpose of this study is to provide Black male student-athletes with the rare opportunity to voice their lived experiences at a CCC and to discover what is known from previous research about the experiences of Black male student-athletes, particularly those who are considered NCAA non-qualifiers.

A basic qualitative interview approach was employed as a lens to gain a more meaningful understanding of how Black male athletes' experiences may promote and/or deter their graduation from a two-year college and transfer to a four-year college. The sample group included 14 Black male subjects at Crown Jewel City College (CJCC), a large, urban, and single district community college in Southern California. Purposeful sampling was conducted to form an information-rich environment that offered insightful answers to underscore the study.

Eight major themes emerged that best describe experiences that may promote or deter graduation from a two-year college and transfer to a four-year college. Promoting themes included: embracing the CCC, faculty and academic support, time management, and grit, confidence, and motivation (GCM). Deterring themes included: negative perceptions, self-reliance, poor choices and decision making, and challenges and distractions.

Alexander W. Astin's model of student involvement—the inputs, environment, and outputs associated with student development—was the theoretical framework employed to analyze the findings. Recommendations are provided for the NCAA, CCCAA, high school and college counselors, coaches, family members, policy makers, and key stakeholders. The aim of this study is to bring awareness to the social, environmental, and institutional factors that often lead to higher graduation rates and lower attrition rates for a subgroup that has been largely ignored in the past. Hopefully, the findings will inform and trigger the NCAA to create policies that better support all student-athletes while not penalizing underrepresented students as a result of their pre-college experiences.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murray, John P.
Commitee: Doffoney, Ned, Vega, William M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Community college education, African American Studies, Black studies, Sports Management, Higher Education Administration, Higher education
Keywords: Black students, California, Community college, Men, NCAA, Student-athletes
Publication Number: 3574908
ISBN: 978-1-303-52096-9
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