Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Melody Moore


AbstractThe community college, given its accessibility and affordability, has become the institution of choice for many African American men pursuing academic, vocational, and technical advancement. However, African American men attending community colleges are less likely to graduate and persist than their European American male and female peers. Limited research exists on academic persistence among African American men attending community colleges and their academic self-efficacy. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of African American male community college students regarding their academic persistence, formal and informal interactions with their instructors, and self-efficacy. Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy and Tinto’s model of student persistence were used as the conceptual framework for this study. The research questions that guided this study focus on how African American men describe their interactions, formal and informal, with faculty and others during their initial year at a community college and the impact of these interactions on their self-efficacy and decision to persist or not persist. Semi structured interviews were conducted with 15 participants, ages 18 to 70 years. The transcripts of these interviews were reviewed by the participants and then coded, using NVivo software, to identify prominent themes. Results illustrated the importance of noncognitive factors, especially connectedness, belonging, and support systems, in impacting self-efficacy and persistence. The findings suggest it is important to support positive social change by engaging stakeholders in a pedagogy that encourages professional development in cultural competence and sensitivity. ,