Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Stumpf, Arthur D.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie

Committee Member

Wiseman, William M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


This study sought to understand the perceptions of African American male students who are enrolled in developmental education programs. The researcher gathered information by interviewing students at 2 Mississippi community colleges and by reviewing information collected from the student’s demographic profile. This qualitative research allowed the researcher to learn directly from students, factors that contribute to African American male students developing a negative perception of developmental education programs. Participants were 20 African American male students enrolled in developmental education program in 2 Mississippi community colleges. Data collection occurred during the spring and fall 2016 semester. Each participant was asked 12 questions to determine his perspectives of developmental education programs and factors contributing to the student’s academic success. Moreover, the study provided solutions that can help dispel the negative perceptions of African American male students and suggested strategies for academic achievement. The factors included the following: support of community college leaders, supportive instructors, and peer support group. Data suggested that to support the academic success of African American male students, an understanding of their culture can benefit their advancement in the community college. The participants believe that if instructors would not give into the negative stereotypes and increase their willingness to go the extra mile to insure that African American male students become successful, the negative perception of developmental education program will change. Participants conveyed the need to feel cared for, understood, and supported by instructors and community college leaders. The findings from this study can assist community college leaders and instructors to develop educational interventions that will support African American male students. This research study is an attempt to provide information that will improve academic success of African American males enrolled in developmental educational programs in the community colleges.



Academic Success||African American male||Developmental Education