School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


David S. Benders


African American, Community College, Graduation, Males, Success, Trauma


Community College Education Administration | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Other Education


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore factors that could lead to academic success for African-American males enrolled in community college. By conducting a phenomenological study, those factors leading to graduation will be derived from the particular lens of perception of the participants’ lived experiences. The guiding theories are those of Derrick Bell’s Critical Race Theory (CRT, 1977), Vincent Tinto’s (1975) Theory of Departure, and John Bean’s (1979) Theory of Student Attrition. A convenience participant sample totaling 10 African-American males was comprised of students who were currently enrolled in a community college. The data collected for this study was garnered from a questionnaire, interviews, and surveys. Said data was analyzed using Moustakas’ (1994) phenomenological seven-step approach. The data from the study resulted in three themes emerging from the data. The themes included trauma, anger, and systems of support. The final chapter is composed of recommendations based on data results and indicated unresolved research privations.