Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Ron Morgan, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Philip Mirci

Ron Williams


education; social sciences; African American students; African-American; educational jusice; high school


African American Studies | Educational Leadership | Secondary Education


A major concern for public schools and society in general is retention of African American males. Studies show that African American males are at the bottom of the achievement gap, and have the highest dropout rates of any group of students. Consequently, the public school system has been accused of failing them. This study examined the perceived high school experiences of these individuals, and their relationships with educators. The goal was to gain insight into this issue and to help solve the problem.

Ten participants were taken from a diverse socio-economic class at a large, Southern California faith based institution. They were selected through Snowballing methods and volunteering. The majority fell between ages sixteen and seventeen, one was eighteen years old, and all were African American males. They all attended comprehensive high schools in Southern, California, came from diverse cities, schools, and school districts.

Themes that emerged found that school, teachers, and school work were more accommodating elementary through middle school. The majority of participants attributed the high percentage of school dropout to bad student/teacher relationships. Minor divergence occurred between peer pressure, boredom, failing grades, gangs, and home environment. Most participants reported getting more support for career goals from coaches as compared to teachers and counselors.


© 2010 Lana J. Walton

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781124328201