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African American males in the community college: Towards a model of academic success

Dissertation
Author: Jonathan Luke Wood
Abstract:
Many scholars have noted the dismal persistence rates of Black male students in community colleges, as well as their poor academic success outcomes. This study sought to further the literature on academic success by exploring student perspectives in one southwestern community college. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of African American males in the community college in order to identify factors that affect their academic success. Creating a model of African American male community college academic success was the overarching goal of this study. A meta-synthesis of 50 scholarly publications on African American males in the community college produced an initial conceptual model of African American male academic Success in the community college. This model as informed by Mason's (1994; 1998) model of African American male urban community college persistence served as the theoretical framework for this study. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 28 African American males from which 17 themes emerged and were categorized as mega-themes (discussed by at least 20 participants), secondary themes (discussed by at least 10 participants), and notable clusters (discussed by at least 7 participants). Four mega-themes emerged from the data: faculty, focus, family, and motivation. Six secondary themes were identified: attendance, finances, employment, friends, God/religion/faith, studying/homework. Seven notable clusters were found: stability of external relationships, campus resources, coeds, timidity, transportation, student life, and campus climate. Factors that were not identified through participant interviews were eliminated from the study's initial model Themes that emerged from the study date were then merged with similar variables in the initial model. After the reconceptualizing the directionality of factors and restructuring of factor constructs, the empirical model of African American male academic success in the community college was finalized.

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Full document contains 342 pages
Abstract: Many scholars have noted the dismal persistence rates of Black male students in community colleges, as well as their poor academic success outcomes. This study sought to further the literature on academic success by exploring student perspectives in one southwestern community college. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of African American males in the community college in order to identify factors that affect their academic success. Creating a model of African American male community college academic success was the overarching goal of this study. A meta-synthesis of 50 scholarly publications on African American males in the community college produced an initial conceptual model of African American male academic Success in the community college. This model as informed by Mason's (1994; 1998) model of African American male urban community college persistence served as the theoretical framework for this study. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 28 African American males from which 17 themes emerged and were categorized as mega-themes (discussed by at least 20 participants), secondary themes (discussed by at least 10 participants), and notable clusters (discussed by at least 7 participants). Four mega-themes emerged from the data: faculty, focus, family, and motivation. Six secondary themes were identified: attendance, finances, employment, friends, God/religion/faith, studying/homework. Seven notable clusters were found: stability of external relationships, campus resources, coeds, timidity, transportation, student life, and campus climate. Factors that were not identified through participant interviews were eliminated from the study's initial model Themes that emerged from the study date were then merged with similar variables in the initial model. After the reconceptualizing the directionality of factors and restructuring of factor constructs, the empirical model of African American male academic success in the community college was finalized.