Dissertation

A Phenomenological Study: African American Male Undergraduate Stem Majors

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand and describe the experience of the undergraduate African American male STEM major at four-year higher education institutions where they are considered to be minority members of the student body. Critical race theory, Albert Bandura’s social learning theory, and John Ogbu’s theory of academic disengagement served as the theoretical foundation for the study. Findings from the study reveal that (a) parental influence and support has a significant impact on the experience of the African American male STEM major, (b) African American male STEM majors value connections with other Blacks, (c) African American male STEM majors endure racially unfair treatment both on and off-campus, and (d) African American male STEM majors place a high value on studying and socializing with students of different cultures. This study advocates for systems of support that will help to retain and successfully graduate African American males who are enrolled in STEM academic programs at U.S. colleges and universities. The study is also intended to impact higher education, at both the community college and university levels, and to provide insights that will help institutions develop policies and practices that will lead to increased academic success for underrepresented minority STEM majors in general and African American male STEM majors in particular.

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