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ERIC Number: ED564972
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 243
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-6677-3
Imagining the Unthinkable: A Case Study Exploring an Institutional Response to the Persistence of African American Males
Wilson, Clyde C., Jr.
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Over the past thirty-five years, the rates of retention and graduation among African American males attending colleges and universities in the U.S. have declined. Many institutions of higher education have responded to this problem by reexamining their efforts at retaining and graduating Black males. Interventions are being created across the landscape of higher education in efforts to "enhance the enrollment and successful matriculation of African American males" (Cuyjet, 2006, p. 15). A review of literature focused on Black males' perceptions of institutional support programs on predominantly White campuses inspired the present study. Before now, various studies have highlighted the current plight of African American males in higher education and their relatively low persistence to graduation; however, few studies have used a qualitative approach to consider the role of institutional support programs in shaping African American males' experiences in higher education institutions. The present study was adapted from Oliver's (2008) study, entitled "Exploring the utilization of institutional support structures by black males on a predominantly white campus." Oliver's study amplified the voices of African American males by examining the role that institutional support services play in aiding retention of African American males at a predominantly white institution. The purpose of the present study, which builds on Oliver's, is to understand Black male students' perceptions of the role that institutional support services play in Black male students' retention and matriculation. The researcher used a case study approach in seeking to answer the following research questions: 1) How do Men Built with Character participants perceive the program's impact on their collegiate experiences? 2) How does the program facilitate academic and social integration for program participants? 3) What are the key dimensions of an Institutional Support Service program aimed at the retention of Black undergraduate males? The results of this study reveal three themes per researcher question. The themes for Question One were "father figure," "agent for change," and "sense of community." Question Two themes were "awareness," "resiliency," and "growth." Question three themes were "mentorship," "inspiration," and "academic enrichment." Understanding the lived experiences of each participant relative to his involvement in Men Built with Character required more than just statistical analysis. In-depth conversations with these Black males provided deeper reflection on their actual experiences. These conversations also provided new insight into the effectiveness of the Men Built with Character program at BJP. BJP is the alias for the university discussed throughout the dissertation. Men Built with Character is the alias for the institutional support service explored throughout the dissertation. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A