Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Shelley A. Jackson


African American male students have a high risk of not completing high school and not going to college. Students receive some college preparation as early as middle school, yet it is not enough to increase the number of African American male high school or college graduates. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe what 18-24-year-old African American male college students recalled from middle school and high school about college preparation, college planning, and college attendance. Critical race theory was used to reveal how outside factors such as oppression, racism, or socioeconomic status prevent African American male students from attending college. The research questions sought to understand (a) college preparation experiences in high school, (b) influential decisions they made to attend college, and (c) the characteristics of a successful pathway to college for African American males. Data were collected from 7 participants who answered in-depth questions via in-person or phone interviews, which resulted in 4 major themes. Results showed that African American male students experienced inequalities and barriers during their school years, and they were aware of segregation between schools. Predominately White Schools had better opportunities for students' success; opposed to predominately Black schools, which had less opportunities for student success. Participants described the inequalities they saw or felt regarding the differences in schools, their teachers' behaviors, and perceptions from society. This study has the potential to make a positive social change in society with specific focus on educational institutes. Therefore, if educational institutes at the district and state levels advocate for African American male students, they can become college graduates.