For several decades the educational trajectories of African American men have been ones of disengagement, underachievement, poor college enrollment, and low graduation rates. Reports in the last decade suggest that high school graduation rate is increasing as well as the completion of two and four-year degree programs. However, research suggests that while the enrollment and completion of African American men in two- and four-year graduate degree programs have been on the increase in recent years, graduation rates of African American men with post baccalaureate degrees remain low. There is very little literature on the enrollment and retention of African American men in graduate programs. This qualitative research study helps to close that gap in literature by investigating the academic achievement of African American men through positive lenses, rather than through dark portrayals that focus on their failures. By using a basic qualitative study design, the researcher investigated the lived experiences of 10 African American men successfully enrolled in master’s degree programs. Semistructured interviews were used to determine the degrees to which self-efficacy, motivation, and persistence influenced their academic successes. Data analysis revealed the following: mastery experiences, verbal persuasion, and vicarious experiences enhanced self-efficacies of the participants; faith in God and economic and social advantages were crucial in motivating the participants; “prove them wrong” attitudes, family and academic support enabled the participants to persist. The findings indicate that it is possible for African American men to overcome overwhelming odds and succeed academically and this awareness may serve as an impetus for increasing numbers of African American men to pursue master’s degrees. As more African American men attain graduate degrees, they will begin to move up the socioeconomic ladder and the trajectory of African American men will eventually change.
|Commitee:||Kozzol, Charles, Wang, Chun Xue|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Adult education, African American Studies|
|Keywords:||Academic success, Determination, Motivation, Self-efficacy|
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