Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Coaxum, James

Second Advisor

Catchings, Christopher

Third Advisor

Hilton, Adriel


College students, Black; African American men; Nontraditional college students


Higher Education


This narrative inquiry research explored the lived experiences of six African American male adult learners enrolled at a four-year public research institution in an urban area located in the northeastern United States. The following questions guided the study: (a) How do African American male adult learners at a four-year research institution describe their experiences? (b) What environmental factors do African American male adult learners feel have shaped their academic success or non-academic success in college? (c) How does the double consciousness framework help to explain or make sense of the narrative of the African American male adult learner? This study sought to provide a more informed understanding of how African American male adult learners experience and persist toward academic success and degree attainment in higher education. The data analysis revealed five emergent themes: early education experiences, pathways to college, persistence factors:, environmental challenges for African American male adult learners, and double consciousness. Results indicated that these participants' lived experiences contributed to their persistence and academic success in college.