Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Sandra Harris

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Karmyn Downs

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Simone Elias


When compared to their peer counterparts, Black male students have a lower college attrition rate. Universities and higher education institutions explore ways to increase the retention and graduation rates for Black male students persisting toward college graduation, and all Black male students need to be included in the dialogue. This qualitative instrumental collective case study explored first-generation Black male college students’ lived experiences that contributed to their persistence toward graduation from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) framed within Tinto’s retention theory (1993). Snowball sampling was used to identify eight first-generation Black male students that were in good academic standing as a sophomore, junior, or senior and are persisting toward completing a bachelor’s degree from an HBCU. In-depth interviews were conducted to explore the academic and social experiences of a specific group of Black male students. The data collected for this study were obtained from eight Black male students currently persisting toward college graduation at an HBCU that aligned with the predetermined participant criteria. The findings suggested that academic and social support systems are critical for the Black male college students’ success at HBCUs. These systems included student services, academic and nonacademic extracurricular organizations, campus environment, mentorship and connections, high school transition, and the ability to navigate the college school system.

Creative Commons License

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



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