Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Higher Ed/Community College Ed

Major Professor

Thomas E. Miller, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Tonisha Lane, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Judith Ponticell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Schneider, Ph.D.


Anti-deficit achievement, Black males, Higher education, Student Success


Higher education enables individuals to be prepared to make an impact in the global society through enhanced skills and the ability to understand their community and the world in which they reside. According to EVERFI (2019), studies showed that diversity in education, specifically on college campuses, improve a student’s intellectual engagement, motivation, citizenship, and cultural engagement, while enhancing their critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills. It is advantageous for students to work with people from other races, ethnicities, and varying socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. These differences prepare students to succeed in a diverse world and broaden their understanding and awareness of diverse customs, beliefs, and values. A diverse representation in all aspects of society is critical, and admission into and graduation from an institution of higher learning plays a critical role in this process. To help ensure this preparedness is inclusive of all populations, it is imperative to address the status Black males in higher education. Black male undergraduate enrollment has only increased from 4%-6% over the last 40 years, and therefore, there are some vast long-term implications pertaining to Black males in higher education and in the larger global community. There has been extensive research on the educational trajectories of Black males in higher education, many conducted from a deficit perspective. In this study, I used Harper’s (2012) Anti-deficit Achievement Approach to explore the perceptions of 12 Black male students who are succeeding at a large metropolitan research Predominately White Institution (PWI). Open- ended, semi-structured interviews were used to engage the participants. The analysis revealed how the pre-collegiate inputs and college environment, lead to outcomes that contribute to the student’s preparedness and success. The findings are insightful and might provide the University with data that could be useful in better supporting Black male students at USF.