Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Educational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. Myron Pope

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Butcher

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Simone Elias


This basic qualitative study examined the perceived factors that influenced African American male students’ persistence to acquire community college completion in the U.S. Southeast. It investigated the academic, cocurricular, and environmental intrinsic and extrinsic support systems of African American community college students who were successfully persisting toward degree obtainment. While the work highlights the challenges of these students as outlined in the published literature to frame their concerns, the study drew on Harper’s (2015) invitation to consider shifting the emphasis from Black male disadvantage to strategies that create an advantage using an antideficit framework. Harper’s (2010, 2012) antideficit achievement framework informed the study to document influential factors that aid African American male students in community college degree completion. One research question guided data collection via interviews: What are the perceived factors that influenced African American male students’ persistence to acquire community college completion in North Carolina? Examining the lived experiences of African American male students at a predominantly White community college provided awareness of the intrinsic and extrinsic support measures that may lead to successful academic outcomes for this student population. The 12 participants disclosed significant influences, leading to 3 categories or themes—Pursuing Achievement, Preparation Shift, and Engagement Influence—that emerged from analyzed data; these themes highlighted specific intrinsic and extrinsic support measures that enabled their successful academic outcomes. Recommended actions are provided to assist college-level educational organizations in designing strategies for keeping all African American male community college students on their degree-completion paths.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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