Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jamie Jones


The problem in a Northeastern district is that African American (AA) males need enhanced support in the high school to improve college readiness thereby strengthening access and the opportunity for college success. The purpose of this study was to gather educators' and adult AA males' perspectives of the influence of connectedness, perception, and self-valuation. Using McClelland's need achievement theory as the conceptual framework, the study focused on educators' perspectives of college readiness and AA males' perceptions of goal-valuation, academic self-perceptions, motivation, and attitudes related to teachers and college readiness. This qualitative case study included interviews with 6 administrators and 1 focus group of 7 educators; all selected at the high school level. Additionally, 64 adult AA males completed the School Attitude Assessment Survey-Revised (SAAS-R). Data were analyzed by using the matrix approach to organize patterns and themes. An analysis of the findings revealed that teacher-student relationships are critical to promote learning, and lessons plans should reflect creativity and understanding of how to support male AA student learning. Themes from findings were promoting student engagement in the classroom setting, developing academic skills to be successful in the classroom setting, using instructional strategies with students, and academic preparation prior to the transition to college. A 3-day college and career readiness professional development project was developed for educators to promote effective college readiness for this population. Through the implementation of these strategies, educators will strengthen college readiness for AA males, thereby promoting improved access and opportunity for college success.