Date of Award

Spring 4-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Jody Piro, EdD

Second Advisor

Marcia A. B. Delcourt, PhD

Third Advisor

Melissa Jenkins, EdD


The purpose of the study was to gain a deep understanding of the educational experiences and perceptions of junior and senior African American male secondary school students attending a diverse urban high school in the Northeast. The case study was bound by self-identification as African American male, 11th or 12th grade level, and the school setting. Ten participants were profiled by low, medium, and high GPAs. Data were collected through focus groups, in-depth participant interviews, and observations of informal school environments. Data were analyzed using a constant comparative method as different levels of codes emerged. Analysis of the data suggested themes in nine areas: identity, social dimension of school climate, peer influences, academic dimension of school climate, factors related to academic achievement, school culture, family influences, future selves, and participants’ recommendations for school changes. The significance of each theme and its implication for practitioners and researchers were discussed and offered.