Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Stephen Laws


The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore lived experiences of African American males who were enrolled in an early college to obtain a deeper understanding of their experiences regarding academic barriers, self-efficacy, and perceptions of academic impact. The population of this research study consisted of eight African American males, all of whom were enrolled in Grades 9-12 in a large urban school district in North Carolina. Bandura’s (2001) Social Cognitive Theory was used as the conceptual framework for the research. Three themes were identified from the first research question, “What are the lived experiences of African American males currently enrolled in an early college in North Carolina?” Those themes were (a) preparation for a 4-year college/university, (b) self-awareness, and (c) academic self-confidence. Two themes aligned with the second research question, “How has these lived experiences impacted academic performance?” They were (d) sense of belonging and (e) support systems. A final theme, representation, emerged through an open-ended response from participants regarding their thoughts on what, if anything, should be added to the Early College of North Carolina to attract more African American males.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.