School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
African American College Students, Bible College, Nontraditional Students, Persistence, Undergraduate Students
Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Higher Education | Religion
Phillips, Rodney, "A Phenomenological Study Exploring Factors that Contribute to Academic Persistence for Nontraditional Undergraduate African American Male Degree-Completers from Bible Colleges in the Southeast" (2016). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1316.
The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to understand factors that contribute to college persistence for nontraditional undergraduate African American male four-year degree completers from select evangelical Bible colleges in the southeastern United States. An ecological and adult resiliency theoretical framework guided the research. Three research questions framed this study: (a) How do nontraditional undergraduate African American male four-year degree completers from select evangelical Bible colleges describe persistence? (b) What type of experiences do participants understand as having contributed to their persistence at Bible colleges? (c) What specific factors do participants identify as having contributed to their persistence at Bible colleges? Data collection included a demographic survey, interviews, journaling, and focus groups. Data analysis combined memoing and constant comparative analysis to facilitate a hermeneutic interpretation of the essence of the participants’ experiences. The findings indicate that spiritual formation, the Bible college experience, Christian service formation, a family support network, and a local church connection all play a vital role in the persistence behaviors of this population. This study mirrored Arbelo-Marrero’s (2013) research of nontraditional Hispanic students within Hispanic Serving Institutions.