Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Athena I. Perrakis, PhD; Fred J. Galloway, EdD; Catherine Hands, PhD


academic achievement, academic pressures, African Americans, community colleges, higher education, men, minority & ethnic groups, qualitative, personal pressures, Phenomenology


For many African American college students, the challenges to achieve academic success are overwhelming. The disproportionate number of African American male students enrolled in the community college system is of substantial concern because community colleges have not traditionally been successful in producing African American male graduates and transfers at the same rate as their counterparts from other racial and gender groups. Moreover, the pressure for African American male students to choose between academic success and their cultural frame of reference often jeopardizes their chances of successfully completing their undergraduate degree. Consequently, African American males who choose the community college system as their primary path to economic and academic opportunity are often at a disadvantage. This qualitative study examined the experiences of African American male community college students in the context of personal and academic counter-pressures on achievement. Findings suggested key academic, cultural, and social pressures African American men experience had a substantial effect on their academic progress. Since educational access and achievement are linked to economic well-being and social status, and since little is known about the experiences of African American male students in community colleges, this study explored male students' experiences and examined from their perspective how researchers, practitioners, and administrators can best facilitate their success.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies