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Factors of Persistence for African American Men in a Student Support Organization

Lamont D. Simmons
The Journal of Negro Education
Vol. 82, No. 1, The 32nd Annual Charles H. Thompson Lecture The Declining Significance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Relevance, Reputation, and Reality in Obamamerica (Winter 2013), pp. 62-74
DOI: 10.7709/jnegroeducation.82.1.0062
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Page Count: 13
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Factors of Persistence for African American Men in a Student Support Organization
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The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine factors of persistence for two African American men involved in the Project Empowerment (PE, pseudonym) student organization at a predominantly White institution. The participants are undergraduate student members of PE, a campus-based organization designed to enhance African American male retention. The researcher conducted interviews with both participants, and analyzed the data verbatim uncovering these four themes: (a) college preparedness, (b) high aspirations and goals, (c) social connections and relationships, and (d) growth through student organizational commitment. The study found that components of PE support African American male persistence. The findings implicate the need for ethnic-based programs for African American men, and for institutions to encourage program participation among this student group.

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