Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Jillian Skelton, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Heather Miller, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Dion Jones, Ed.D.

Keywords

African-American males, attrition, college student, higher education, high impact practice, part-time employment, persistence, retention

Abstract

The central research question for this study asked how do African-American males perceive working part-time, while enrolled full-time, to have an impact on their persistence? A secondary question asked, what factors influenced African-American male students to persist through graduation? The participants comprised of 35 African-American male college students who graduated Spring 2016. This study was focused on part-time employment and its support of persistence for African-American men. Hence, persistence theory was the most pertinent lens through which to view the literature and the data collected in this study. This study employed a case study research, as it is an empirical inquiry about a contemporary phenomenon set within its real-world context. The case study method allows for better comprehension of the context of the phenomenon being studied. In analysis of the data, four themes that contributed to persistence began to emerge. The themes are job satisfaction, relationships with parents, support systems, and a sense of motivation. These four themes represent the thoughts and perceptions of the graduated participants as they responded to the interview questions and produced the findings for this research study. The discoveries holistically indicated that persistence included more than one factor. The findings from this study suggest faculty, administrators, and staff can support persistence among African-American men at predominantly White institutions. Also, an institutional practice or formal program should be established using faculty and staff to frequently engage with African-American men in formal or informal academic and social programs or through other campus activities.

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