Date Approved

4-18-2017

Embargo Period

4-19-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Coaxum, James

Second Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Third Advisor

Bazile, Stanley

Subject(s)

African American community college students; Community college students--Services for

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to describe the lived experience of Black males in an Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program at a community college. According to research, community colleges are the first option for many Black male students who are underprepared academically and come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. This phenomenological study examines the lived experience of Black males in an EOF program because of its ability to provide access, equality, and resources to students. Ten face-to-face interviews were conducted in order to describe the essence of this phenomenon. The findings from this study revealed that there are five themes and three subthemes Black males experience as EOF students at a community college. These five themes are EOF provides a supportive atmosphere, family and peer influence, community college is a stepping stone, being a Black male and a community college student, and fighting to stay focused. In addition, this study provides narrative about Black men seeking to attain an education as a means to achieve upward mobility and to lift their self-confidence. Lastly, this study provides insight to aid policymakers, higher education practitioners, and others connected to Black males to better understand how unique their experience is pursuing an associate degree from a community college.

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