Date of Conferral







Cheryl Keen


Male college students' attrition has been a concern for higher education for 3 decades. This study focused on why young male college students leave postsecondary education before graduating. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences former male college students that led to their decision to leave a community college in the Southcentral United States. Research questions in this generic qualitative study were: How do men describe their experiences leading to the decision to discontinue their community college education and what supports do men perceive colleges could offer to support their decision to continue postsecondary education. Astin's theory of student involvement, Bean's industrial model of student learning, and Tinto's theory of integration served as the conceptual framework for the study. Open coding of interviews with 8 college-age men revealed 5 themes: a sense of not belonging, financial concerns, challenging timeframes in college life, personal demands and challenges, and desired campus supports. Findings and recommendations may result in positive social change by informing educators and school leaders about reasons men leave college, thereby potentially leading to targeted retention efforts. Positive social change may result from offering more support to male students, particularly focused on time management for those with off-campus jobs, creating more means to instill a sense of belonging, offering early and substantive academic advising and additional financial aid advice and resources, supporting faculty to design more engaging teaching methods, and offering exit interviews.