Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This qualitative study examined the experiences of eight Black male higher education doctoral students attending a predominantly White institution in the South. Interviews were conducted asking the participants to reflect upon their educational experiences. The primary overarching research question guiding this study was: What factors contribute to the academic success of Black males seeking doctoral degrees in Higher Education at a predominately White institution? Sub-questions assisting in this research were: A) What experiences, educational and otherwise, promote academic success? B) What strategies and resources did Black males utilize in persisting and seeking doctoral degrees at a predominately White institution? Analysis of the findings revealed factors that contributed to the academic success of Black males seeking a doctoral degree in Higher Education at a predominantly White institution. They were grouped into three main categories: 1) the Impact of Early Experiences Related to Education; 2) the Impact of Experiences During Graduate School; and 3) the Final Perceptions of Participants. Findings regarding the impact of early experiences related to education were comprised of two primary components: 1) Support from Family and Teachers; and 2) a Focus on the Value of Attaining a College Degree. Key themes that emerged from the findings related to the participants’ experiences during graduate school could be further categorized into four areas: 1) Program Characteristics, which included Black faculty, a social justice aspect, mentor relationships, financial aid, and feeling valued; 2) Racial Identity; 3) Race Talk; and 4) Support from Others. Finally, the last main category was related to the final perceptions of participants and included summaries of participants’ responses labeled as: a) the most significant hurdle to overcome, and b) the most important factor in academic success.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mitchell, Roland W.



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Education Commons