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ERIC Number: EJ1062100
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
Factors Affecting Bachelor's Degree Completion among Black Males with Prior Attrition
Matthews-Whetstone, Rayna; Scott, Joyce A.
Research in Higher Education Journal, v28 May 2015
Black males lag behind their female counterparts in bachelor's degree completion. This study examined why Black males leave higher education, eventually return, and complete their degrees. Researchers are aware of some of the challenges that Black males encounter in higher education, but there is little information factors affecting successful completion of bachelor's degrees by nontraditional, Black males, who are overlooked by the literature because they do not meet the current criteria for 6-year graduation rates. This study examined three questions: 1) What causes Black males to discontinue their postsecondary degrees and leave college? 2) What factors influence their decisions to return to postsecondary education? and 3) What factors help or hinder them in completing their degrees? This study used a phenomenological approach. A panel of 5 Black males with bachelor's degrees reviewed interview questions and suggested revisions. Questions were broken into two parts: one related to participants' first enrollment in college and the second related to participants' experiences during later college attempts. Participants were Black males at least 25 years of age with previous college experience who had dropped out for at least one year before reenrolling and eventually completing a bachelor's degree. Participants were identified using professional colleagues and a recruitment script. Ten participants agreed to 30-minute interviews at which the researcher took extensive notes which were later coded to identify themes. Results showed that the majority of participants had spent 10 or more years engaged in higher education. The time to degree ranged from a low of 5 years to a high of 27 years. An interesting finding emerged related to the participants' choice of institutions. Participants who stayed at 4-year institutions experienced shorter time to degree completion than those who enrolled at 2-year institutions.
Descriptors: Males, African American Students, Graduation, Student Attrition, Academic Persistence, Bachelors Degrees, Gender Differences, College Students, Barriers, Time to Degree, Dropouts, Phenomenology, Interviews, Reentry Students, Higher Education, Questionnaires
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A