Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Philip Mirci, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Christopher Hunt, Ed.D.

Ron Williams, Ed.D.


social sciences; education, achievement, African-American, boys, California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), dropout, failing, high-stakes testing


African American Studies | Educational Leadership | Secondary Education


A significant number of African-American male students have experienced difficulty in passing the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) on their first and subsequent attempts. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to interview some of these students who have not passed the California High School Exit Exam multiple times and examine their perceptions of this phenomenon. The overarching research question guiding the study was: "What are the perceptions of African-American males who failed the (CAHSEE) multiple times before passing?" All 20 participants in this study will meet the criteria: African-American males who failed the CAHSEE and later succeeded in passing. Ten 11th grade African-American males failed the CAHSEE examination twice before subsequently passing; and ten 12th grade African-American males failed the CAHSEE thrice before subsequently passing. These students attend the only high school (enrollment 990) in a kindergarten-to-twelve school district in a small rural community in southern California. Most of the high school students enter 9th grade from the one middle school in the community. The qualitative strategy of snowballing will be used to identify potential participants, whom the researcher will contact them personally. Findings may yield insight of factors that hinder and/or promote the success of these traditionally underserved students (Jalomo, 1995 as cited in Rendón, 2006) compared to their more advantaged peers. Furthermore, findings may provide awareness for educational stakeholders in ways they can support African-American males to pass the CAHSEE on their initial attempt.


© 2013 Stephen Adebowale Adesina

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781303245923