Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

Committee Chair

John Rugutt


This dissertation shines a light on the indomitable spirit of African American male students, who exhibit remarkable resilience despite facing persistent challenges such as underrepresentation, academic underachievement, and racial and socioeconomic disparities. It delves into the critical role of programs and services in promoting academic success at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). The study explores how targeted institutional support mechanisms can further bolster their retention, engagement, and graduation rates. It conducts a comprehensive review of existing literature and a quantitative analysis of survey data collected from students at Midwestern PWI to understand the key factors influencing their academic journeys. The research aims to gauge the effectiveness of programs designed to support their educational pursuits, such as mentorship initiatives, cultural affinity groups, and academic enhancement workshops. The findings underscore the transformative potential of these programs, revealing a significant correlation between student engagement in these initiatives and a positive impact on their sense of belonging, academic motivation, and persistence. The study also underscores the importance of creating inclusive and supportive campus environments that acknowledge and address their unique needs. Institutions can significantly enhance student outcomes by investing in culturally competent services that foster academic success, personal development, and community building.In conclusion, this dissertation underscores the collective responsibility we all share in supporting the academic success of African American male students. It provides insights into practical strategies PWIs can adopt to bridge the achievement gap and empower these students to thrive in their academic and professional endeavors. It emphasizes the urgent need for sustained commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. This is not just a task for educators, policymakers, and administrators but a shared mission for the entire academic community. By working together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment that fosters academic success, personal development, and community building.

KEYWORDS: African-American males, academic success, predominantly white institutions (PWIs), programs and services, retention, persistence, higher education


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