Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James Valadez


Many U.S. colleges and universities have created programs to improve retention and graduation rates of Black male students. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the lived experiences of Black male learning community participants and discover what faculty and staff perceive to be major influences on the retention of this population. The conceptual framework was rooted in Tinto's student integration model and Swail's geometric model of student persistence and achievement. The research questions within this study examined what faculty/staff perceive to be a major influence on the retention of minority male learning community participants. The questions also examined the perceptions of black male learning community participants regarding the major influence on their decision to remain at the selected institution after their first year. Data collection included semistructured interviews with 2 faculty, 2 staff, and 6 student learning community participants, and examination of national and local records. Data coding and analysis revealed 5 themes: college selection, college perception, learning community experience, Black male retention, and Black male mentorship. Findings indicated that most learning community participants returned to the institution based on faculty/staff support and a brotherhood bond with their peers. Faculty and staff reported that the institution could retain more minority male students if faculty/staff engagement with students and male mentorship beyond the learning community were increased. The project included a professional development program on effective minority male mentoring strategies for faculty/staff at the selected institution. This project may bring a new perspective on the idea of minority male retention while providing university officials with qualitative data to increase retention.