Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Sharon Spall (Director), Dr. Gayle Ecton, Dr. David Coffey

Degree Program

Department of Educational Administration, Leadership and Research

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


The intent of this study was to identify the issues that impact the retention of African-American, Black males in college. The study was of two small focus groups comprised of African-American students of various grade classifications from a regional comprehensive university in the southeast. These focus groups were comprised of up to but no more than six students. The decision on the group size was made to allow all of the students’ ample opportunity to respond to the eight questions used in the focus groups. The student groups attended the university main campus as well as the university South Campus where developmental courses are taught. The students were from both rural and urban backgrounds, as well as single parent and traditional family backgrounds.

Various themes emerged as a result of this study which includes: importance of family support prior to college and during the student’s college career. Additionally, the role of mentors was identified as affecting the student’s retention in college. There was also discussion of how Black males are viewed on campus by other Black students, as well as other students and the faculty and staff.

It can be concluded that several factors have affected the retention of this small group of African-American males in higher education. The information gathered shows that family support is a key cog in the retention of this group; in addition, the role of mentors in their education was very important to this group of students.


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Higher Education Administration