Date Available


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Year of Publication


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly Bradley


This qualitative case study used a phenomenological research approach to explore the lived experiences of African American male community college students who participate in mentoring programs. Mentoring programs for African American males in higher education have been implemented to help improve retention, academic performance in the classroom, sense of self, intention to complete, and graduation rates (LaVant et al., 1997). Critical race theory (CRT) informed the use of qualitative interview methods to represent the lived experiences of the participants and to elevate the knowledge of young African American men in research on higher education mentoring programs. Research participants were 8 African American male mentees from Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) and Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) mentoring programs. Findings revealed the perspectives African American male mentees hold of mentoring programs, their experiences within these programs, and the challenges they believe that mentoring programs might help them overcome. The results of this study contribute to efforts to identify and correct the historical inequities African American males face in higher education. Future research should focus on retention and degree completion and their impact on African American males. African American males attending community college warrant further discussion and research regarding mentoring programs.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)