• Walking on water:African American male freshmen mastering transition for the purpose of retention and persistence at a midwestern university

      Underwood, Oscar J Dowell (2012-05-21)
      The purpose of this study was to examine the postsecondary experiences of African American college men at a Midwestern university. This study explored their college transition and endeavored to understand their lived experiences. The intent of this study was also to understand the coping strategies that African American men employ to achieve and succeed in college. The goal of this study was to describe the higher-education experiences of eight Black men in order to ascertain what major and minor themes emerged that could contribute to the literature concerning African American male transition, retention, and persistence at postsecondary institutions. The data from the transcripts of the focus group interviews of eight African American college males revealed five major themes that emerged as influential factors in the college experiences of the majority of these Black males. The themes were (a) the impact of being perceived as leaders; (b) the influence of possessing a perception of being a burden of hope for significant others; (c) the impact of a decision to overcome personal habits that could threaten achievement and college success; (d) the influence of having success connections with family, mentors, and campus organizations, whether cultural or otherwise; and (e) the influence of possessing a no-failure option college success strategy. Implications for African American college men, college leadership, student affairs leadership, faculty, and campus groups and organizations were discussed, as well as recommendations for future research.