Date of Award

7-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Fragano Ledgister

Second Advisor

Abi Awomolo

Third Advisor

Henry Elonge

Abstract

Between 1998 and 2008, in the African-American community and for black men in particular in the State of Georgia, attaining a post-secondary education and its corresponding benefits has proven to be challenging. With the abrupt transition of policies and programs such as the HOPE Scholarship, Affirmative Action, and African American Male Initiatives during this period, came a corresponding transformation of the composition of number of black males enrolling in Georgia’s public colleges and universities. Along with the wider gender and race changes that occurred during this period, as of March 2004, black males represented 16.6 percent of the national numbers as compared to 18.5 percent of their Black female and 32.9 percent of their white male counterparts 25 years and over who attained bachelor’s degrees. Despite many impediments to improving the education levels of citizens in the State of Georgia, it appears that the widest educational gap was among African Americans. Fewer black males graduated from high school on time, compared to almost two-thirds of the black females. Many scholars of educational policy attest to the fact that college enrollment levels are a problem among all students. One example of this research is highlighted to show how African-American males have particularly low rates and are even vulnerable to dropping out of high school. This dissertation attempts to contextualize political science with larger public policy processes by using the roles of politicians and public administrators as creators of public policy that will eventually be used to impact the enrollment level of African-American males in Georgia public colleges and universities. This work draws from a series of interviews, surveys, and focus groups. By examining the different issues that impact enrollment levels, this dissertation underscores the complex areas of processes that bring together African-American Male Initiative Programs, Affirmative-Action policies, and Financial Aid programs such as the HOPE Scholarship. Present for political scientists is a body of research that will enable us to examine a core of scholarship to sift through a sort out the various interests that converge and represent different and potentially conflicting visions about how public policy should impact higher education.

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