Theses and Dissertations


Aaron Jagers

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Fincher, Mark Edward

Committee Member

Johnson, Susan 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 quantitative study explored the obstacles African American male students face that can hinder their academic progress at community colleges within the rural regions of Louisiana. This study viewed the collective experiences of African American males in community colleges in order to improve their academic outcomes, completion, and retention rates. This study also explored the African American male’s educational experiences and the personal and academic obstacles they faced as students in the community college environment. This study used a research design that collected data from African American male students in two rural Louisiana community colleges. This study utilized a survey as the means to collect data. The dependent variables in this study were age, first-generation college student status, academic goal, and full-time or part-time job status. The independent variables were institutional factors that affect students’ completion rates, role of relationships with instructors, and impediments to social engagement in the community college environment. There were 100 African American male students who participated in the survey. The survey included 25 questions. There were 4 questions that measure participants’ demographics. The demographics being measured were age range, first-generation college student status, academic goal, and job status. There were 7 questions that measured the institutional factors that may affect completion rates. There were 9 questions that measured the experiences with faculty. There were 5 questions that measured student engagement socially and academically on campus. Answers were given based on a Likert scale or a list of responses from which to choose. Data analyses used to address the research questions include descriptive statistics for Research Questions 1-3 and one-way ANOVA for Research Question 4. Results from this study showed a statistically significant relationship between the African American male students’ demographics and institutional factors, relationship with instructors, and social engagement as a predictor for retention and graduation rates. This study provided data for community college administrators, state and federal-level policy makers, and faculty to help improve degree, diploma, and certificate attainment of African American males in community colleges.