School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Primary Subject Area
Education, Community College; Education, General; Black Studies; Education, Higher
Academic Success, African American Males, College Lived Experiences, Community College Persistence Community College Retention, Higher Education Perceptions
Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Race and Ethnicity
Despite increased numbers of African American male students in higher education, their academic achievement levels continue to be at disproportionate numbers compared to other ethnic groups and genders (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005). The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore lived experiences of African American male community college students concerning factors hindering their academic progress and to understand perceptions of factors that influence their academic achievement in higher education. The current study identifies pertinent factors that will assist African American males to become successful in their postsecondary experiences. Findings from this study provide insights into predictors that may lead to academic achievement for African American male students. Phenomenological hermeneutic analysis was used to explore lived experiences of African American community college students. Six African American male students attending a community college in Virginia were interviewed. A semi-structured interview protocol approach was used to establish dialogue between the participants and the researcher. The interview questions were designed based on the literature review. The results illustrate how African American male students are able to overcome obstacles to ascertain academic success regardless of their race and postsecondary challenges.