Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Brianna Parsons, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Dana Shelton, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Simyka Carlton, Ed.D.


African American males, academic success, adolescents, underprivileged, educational achievement


The purpose of this collective case study was to explore the experiences, unconventional interventions, and components that contributed to African American male adolescents’ academic success. In addition, this case study fills a critical gap in the research on the hardships African American males face in the world of academia. In particular, this study employs the theory of Social Emotional Learning and the Critical Race Theory to explore the perspectives of underprivileged African American male adolescents in the urban settings who managed to beat the odds and achieved positive academic outcomes. The researcher applied purposeful sampling strategy and recruited eight African American males who attended and graduated from an independent school district in Texas. The qualitative data collection techniques, such as questionnaires, interviews, and artifacts were utilized to examine the participants' reported views on the relationship between education and life success, internal conditions contributing to academic involvement, and external conditions predicting successful academic outcomes. The participants were positively affected by certain supportive elements within their community, school, and home. They reported being able to overcome negative influences by making use of internal and external components from parents, schools, success-based approaches to life, self-determination, and the ability to withstand hardships. The results of the study have practical implications for parents and caregivers, educators, community-based organizations, community leaders, and scholars, providing evidence to inform future interventions to facilitate resiliency in African American students.

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