The perception on non-cognitive and other factors on African-American males' persistence from freshman to sophomore year at an HBCU: implications for educational leaders

George Johnson Jr, Clark Atlanta University


This study sought to understand the extent to which African-American males perceived their experiences in higher education as an impact of their persistence. With only 18 out of 40 African-American males graduating from college within six years (National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, 2008), this study sought to explore the problem of African-American male persistence in higher education. Specifically, this study examined the difference in persistence among African-American males to determine which factors most influenced their persistence and discussed strategies to overcome these challenges.

Using survey data from 45 questionnaires, 35 focus group questionnaires, and 13 interview questionnaires, this study contributes to the literature by examining 17 non cognitive and other factors believed to affect this relationship. This study found that participants did believe the non-cognitive and other factors impacted perception and the ability to persist in college. However, the findings indicated mixed views about first generation college students and mentorship.

In general, the findings can be used to further study African-American male persistence in higher education. Based on the results, this study has several future research possibilities to further the discussion. Future research can examine different types of higher education institutions in varying geographic locations. In addition, future studies can further explore the impact of subgroups” of African-American males such as athletes, first-generation college students, and other “nuclear groups” that may have a different experience than the average African-American male.