Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Road to success: The experiences of academically successful graduation-bound African American males
by Mendoza-Williams, Jaime, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 188; 10001591
Abstract (Summary)

From slavery to modern times, African American males have faced a wide range of obstacles growing up in America. This study used resiliency and self-determination theories as the lenses to understand the experiences of 21 academically successful African American males. Their stories were examined to better understand their experiences. Interview data were analyzed to extract subject matter from each interview to develop codes and themes within the participants’ experiences. Demographic questionnaires are used to enhance and supplement the individual experiences of each participant.

This qualitative study highlighted the fundamental reasons why a small group of African American male high school juniors and seniors in the selected high school have succeeded academically. Through interviews, and field notes, I uncovered factors related to home and school environmental factors, academic and surrounding community factors, factors of self-motivation from participants, and the role of sports and extracurricular activities, which contributed to the success of these African American males.

The qualitative methods used in the study gave voice to the students and made their individual experiences clear. The findings indicated that parent and teachers’ high expectations and positive relationships, loyal peers who also served as accountability partners and a strong relationship with their parents; especially their mothers contributed to their academic success. An in-depth examination of the study findings could lead school personnel to actively participate in critical conversations about issues related to African American male achievement. The context centering on the mutual themes present in the lives of the 21 participants of this study may lead to significant school-based, school district, local and national school reform and increased achievement for all students; particularly African American males.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ortiz, Anna M.
Commitee: Gamble, Brandon, Wallace, Rosario
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Educational leadership, Gender studies, Higher education
Keywords: Academically successful, African American males, Resilience, Strength based
Publication Number: 10001591
ISBN: 978-1-339-41523-9
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