Date of Conferral

2014

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Kevin Quinlan

Abstract

Despite a growing enrollment of Black males in colleges and universities in the U.S., the nationwide college degree completion rate for Black males remains at disproportionately low numbers as compared to other ethnicities and to that of Black females. The purpose of this narrative inquiry study was to evoke and promote the voices of successful Black male students and to understand their perspectives on factors that contributed to their college success. Findings from this research provide insight into college experiences and interventions that have positive implications for Black male college student success. Valencia's (2010) work on educational attainment served as the anti-deficit conceptual framework for this study, which used a qualitative approach of criterion-based, purposeful sampling. A total of 14 Black male college students from a community college in the Southeast served as study participants. Eight participants were interviewed, and 6 participated in a focus group. Open-ended interview and focus group protocols were used to engage study participants. The data analysis consisted of open and axial coding to identify recurring themes. The analysis revealed the college experiences to which successful Black male college students were exposed. These experiences included student organization membership, community service, advising, and mentorship engagement. Intrinsic motivation and ethnicity were also emergent themes that appeared to contribute to the students' college success. The study findings are insightful as to how institutions might better support Black male college success and completion. Increased Black male college completion has positive implications for a better quality of life for this population and their families as well as greater socio-economic contributions to society.