Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Carleton R. Holt

Committee Member

Ed Bengtson

Second Committee Member

Michael T. Miller


African American Experiences, African American Male, African American Male Drop Outs, Drop Outs, High School Drop outs, Phenomenon of Dropping out of High School


We expect all students to achieve and succeed in school, yet current data shows that 23.6% of African American students in Arkansas drop out of school (Bailey & Dziko, 2008). The African American male high school dropouts are much higher than the number of male dropouts from other ethnic groups. As the researcher reviewed the current data about African American dropouts, it was the impetus behind this study. Although many have discussed and written about African American male dropouts in educational forums, essays, short stories, dissertations, and even movies, few have captured the experiences of the African American males in qualitative research, allowing them to have a voice.

The study focused on the African American males’ perspectives and their educational experiences during high school and how these experiences influenced their decisions to drop out of high school. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the reasons why African American males decided to drop out of high school. The researcher engaged subjects in an in depth assessment of the issues that influenced their decisions to leave high school. The researcher felt that, in order to glean a true picture of the facts as it relates to the African American dropouts, it was imperative to relate the issues to those who were affected. As we examine this dilemma, it is very important that educators understand how African American students might respond or not respond in the learning environment.