Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Higher Education (EdD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Michael Miller

Committee Member

Charles Robinson

Second Committee Member

Stephanie G. Adams


Social sciences, Education, African-American, Black men, Leadership and management, Men, Student affairs, Supervision


African American male professionals continue to be lower in numbers in the workplace across the United States compared to their White counterparts. However, the division of student affairs and student services of higher education institutions continue to serve as a gate way for African American men to serve as administrators. Several higher education institutions and sectors continue to invest in the recruitment and retention for African American male professionals, and research has shown that supervision is the key to employee professional development, performance, and success. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of African American male professionals’ experiences with their supervisors and job satisfaction utilizing the model of synergistic supervision (Winston & Cremer, 1997). The study also explored the extent to which these perceptions differed by supervisor demographics such as; gender, ethnicity, and career level.

106 participants who belong to a leading professional association who are currently early to mid-career professionals working in student affairs or student services from a variety of institutions participated in the study. Findings suggested that African American male professionals were moderately satisfied with the job and several challenges, successes, and strategies emerged that impacted their experience and perceptions of their supervisor. The participants provided insight and strategies for student affairs and student services supervisors, leaders, and managers.