Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Flowers III, Alonzo M., PhD

Second Advisor

Beabout, Brian, PhD

Third Advisor

Broadhurst, Christopher, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Govan, Rashida, PhD


The present study consisted of a phenomenological investigation of African American males who have been expelled from traditional educational settings in New Orleans, LA in order to provide educators with information geared towards increasing academic achievement in African American males. It has been noted that one of the reasons that Black males graduation rates are so low is because in addition to other factors that lead to non-completion, black males are more likely to be expelled from school. In this study, I used a Critical Race theoretical framework to explore gain experiential knowledge of these excluded young men, what they perceive as barriers to their success, and their sentiments on the relationships they have had with educators and peers whom they have encountered. Based on the participants’ responses, seven categories emerged from the data including: (a) Race and Racism, (b) Self Perceptions, (c) Family Expectations and Support, (d) Male Role Models and Mentors, (e) The School Environment, (f) School Discipline, and (g) Alternative School. Study participants described the totality of their education experiences by opening up about what they felt were key factors at play. The stories of the participants provided a deeper context of the nuances of racism and how it impacts their day to day educational experiences overall The results of this study provides data that may enable educators to begin steps to dismantle the school to prison pipeline by ensuring at-risk students are supported and successful in school without having to be removed. This information serves as a catalyst for future inquiry into additional nuances that effect the academic achievement of African American male students in K-12 schools.


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