Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

King, Stephanie B.

Committee Member

Cutts, Qiana M.

Committee Member

Prince, Debra L.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Community College Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


In spite of an expanding enrollment of African American males in community colleges in the United States, the early departure of this minority group is one of concern. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore African American males’ identification of the factors that contributed to their persistence at community colleges. Data were collected through structured interviews with 7 African American male community college graduates who were enrolled at a 4-year university when the study was conducted. Data were analyzed through by coding and categorizing in order to determine themes. Social integration and social cognitive models were used to obtain an understanding of the factors that allowed these students to persist in their studies and obtain their associate degree. With this study, the researcher aimed at creating a mental picture of African American male students who have completed an associate degree by identifying the factors that African American males perceived contributed to their persistence. This study builds upon the limited amount of research available which focused on African American males attending community colleges. The researcher sought to bring understanding to factors affecting the persistence of African American males at community colleges. The study’s findings are significant as they highlight African American males’ identification of persistence factors; this information could be used by community college administrators to better support the success rates of African American males.