Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Brenda L. Walker, Ph.D., J.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Doone, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Zorka Karanxha, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Will Tyson, Ph.D.


Black Males, Alternative Schools, Juvenile Justice, School-to-Prison-Pipeline


Research suggests that there still exists a disproportionate number of Black males who have contact with juvenile justice systems across this nation (Nance, 2016). The disproportionate placement of students of color, specifically, Black American males in alternative schools, serves as the gateway to the school-to-prison-pipeline (Pelzer, 2012). This study examined the lived educational experiences of two Black American juvenile males, who enrolled in an alternative school in the Southeast. This study incorporated phenomenological and narrative methods and provides rich, descriptive analyses of the participants’ experiences while attending an alternative school. Findings from this study revealed instability among the participants’ home life and education, encounters with law enforcement and an early age, varying experiences attending an alternative school, and feelings of uncertain hope displayed by the participants regarding their future lives.