Attrition of African American Male Criminal Justice Students at a Southeastern Regional Technical College: A Phenomenological Study

Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Chad Becker, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Julia Britt, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Heather Miller, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study is to better understand why African American males are withdrawing from college prior to completing their program of study at a Southeastern regional technical college. A qualitative phenomenological study was employed to document the experiences of nine African American male students enrolled in the criminal justice program. Open-ended interviews facilitated capturing the essence of the lived experiences of African American male college students who were enrolled from fall semester 2013 to fall semester 2017. The data analysis for this study was accomplished by utilizing the method of Van Kaam outlined by Moustakas (1994) which helped generate seven themes. The themes were: (a) a lack of mobility; (b) high academic expectations of participants; (c) a lack of role models in the community; (d) unpreparedness for college; (e) financial distress and responsibilities; (f) lack of empathy; and (g) ineffective college procedures. Themes identified in this study could better equip administrators, faculty, and staff to help African American males achieve success and graduate.

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