Term of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Grigory Dmitriyev

Committee Member 1

Kent Rittschof

Committee Member 2

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 3

John K. Derden

Committee Member 3 Email



This study focused upon the perceptions of twenty African American male students enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at East Georgia State College regarding retention initiatives, student support services, and student engagement inside and outside the classroom. Previous research of Black male college achievement addressed almost exclusively the extent to which students were disengaged and underrepresented among college students. Utilizing an anti-deficit framework, I examined the participant’s perceptions of their pre-college socialization and readiness, including the influence of their families, peers, and educators upon their college enrollment. Also, I presented in this research the findings from the perceptions of staff, faculty, and administrators regarding strategies that have promoted the successful retention of African American male students. Findings of this study at a small rural predominantly black access institution offered insights into retention strategies that have enabled African American male students to persevere to graduation or successful transfer to four year institutions. Among the key findings based upon the perception of students, staff, faculty, and administrators are: an inclusive campus cultural and racial environment, student support services based upon the needs of the students, the engagement of students in the classroom and in out-of-class extracurricular activities, the availability of mentoring through the African American Male Initiative (faculty and peer mentoring), and the availability of external and campus support.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material