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Experiences of African American Community College Male Students: How They Make Meaning of Experiences and Make Decisions on Persistence By Talbert Myers.

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Presentation on theme: "Experiences of African American Community College Male Students: How They Make Meaning of Experiences and Make Decisions on Persistence By Talbert Myers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Experiences of African American Community College Male Students: How They Make Meaning of Experiences and Make Decisions on Persistence By Talbert Myers March 27, 2007

2 INTRODUCTION Problem Statement: The problem that this research study addresses is the extremely low retention rates or the persistence of African American male students in community colleges. African American male students in community colleges persist at rates that are among the lowest of all racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States (Hagedorn, Maxwell & Hampton, 2001). African Americans are the only racial group in which females consistently achieve higher levels in education than do the males (Hagedorn, Maxwell & Hampton, 2001).

3 Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study is two fold: The study seeks to obtain a comprehensive description of the experiences of African American male students in community colleges. The study will explain how these students make meaning of their experiences and how these experiences impact their decisions to persist or leave college.

4 Research Questions Overarching Question: What are the experiences of African American male students in community colleges that impact their decision to persist or leave college? Subsequent Questions: What are the experiences of African American male students in a mid sized suburban community college in the southeast? How do African American male students make meaning of their experiences in community colleges? How do these experiences impact the decision of African American male students to persist or leave college?

5 Significance of the Study Study provides a different theoretical or conceptual framework for the study of persistence; Critical Race Theory. Study provides focus on persistence of the African American male student in community colleges. Study provides a rich thick description of the experiences of African American male students in community colleges that could result in strategies for the improvement of their rates of persistence.

6 Conceptual Framework Critical Race Theory (CRT): Derived from racial formation theory that posits a process of involving the creation, inhabitation, transformation and destruction of racial categories (Omi & Winant, 1994) Began in legal writings by Derrick Bell and Alan Freeman in the 1970s (Taylor, 1998; Ladson-Billings & Tate IV, 1995; Delgado, 1995) Says there exists the predominance of one racial group over other racial groups. Three major propositions attributed to the CRT 1. race continues as significant factor for inequality in the U.S. 2. property rights is the basis for U.S. society. 3. property and education relate explicitly and implicitly. (Ladson-Billings & Tate IV, 1995)

7 CRT Continued Five tenets of CRT 1. centrality of race and racism relative to subordination 2. challenge dominant ideology 3. commitment to social justice 4. centrality of experiential knowledge 5. transdisciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective (Solorzano & Yosso, 2001)

8 Research Design and Methods Qualitative Paradigm: Rationale Low persistence rates of African American male students in community colleges is a social phenomenon. Qualitative research seeks to study social phenomenon ( Marshall & Rossman, 2006). Context (natural setting) very important to how humans make meaning of their experiences, as it impacts upon how they make meaning from their experiences. Removing participant from natural setting leads to contrived findings that are out of cotext (Creswell, 1998).

9 Research Approach Narrative Inquiry: Rationale “It is through narrative that cultures have created and expressed their world views and have provided models of identity and agency to their members (Bruner, p. XIV). A tenet of CRT is experiential (tacit) knowledge (Solorzano & Yosso, 2001). Narrative inquiry explores this knowledge by allowing participants to tell the stories of their experiences (Marshall & Rossman, 2006). Data Collection: Rationale In-depth interview-necessary as a method for data collection in narrative inquiry in order to obtain the perspective of the participant (Marshall & Rossman, 2006). Participant Observation- “a fundamental and highly important method of all qualitative inquiry” (Marshall & Rossman, 2006, p. 99), used in the natural setting to discover the comlexities of human interaction (Marshall & Rossman, 2006).


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