Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael F. DiPaola


Much of the literature dedicated to the academic achievement of African American males focuses on failure, obstacles, negative influences and explanations of factors that negatively impact their academic success. This qualitative research study provided an opportunity for African American male students at the high school level to articulate their experiences and speak to the factors that they perceived as contributing to their academic success. The constructs of identity and cultural capital were offered by this researcher as a conceptual framework into the insight of factors that impacted the academic achievement of this student group.;Through interviews, a classroom observation and document review, the perceptions of six African American male seniors from two public high schools located in southeastern Virginia were collected and analyzed. The themes derived from the data showed that these young men were successful due to the support they received from their teachers, parents and peers, their approach to challenging and difficult situations, and the opportunities that they were afforded that led to their use of the educational process to reach their goals and dreams.



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