Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Todd McCardle

Department Affiliation

Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Second Advisor

Roger C. Cleveland

Department Affiliation

Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership

Third Advisor

Wardell Johnson

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the lived experiences of graduates of a Black Male Initiative (BMI) mentoring program at one associate-level College in the southeast region and the impact mentoring had on the participant's success at the college and its impact on obtaining their degree. Critical Race Theory (CRT) was the theoretical framework shaping the study, which acknowledges the centrality of race in every aspect of culture in the United States, including higher education. Three research questions guided this study (1) How do graduates of the mentoring program view their success with the program? (2) What do students taking part in the mentoring program have to say about their experience at the college? (3) What do the mentoring program participants believe was the most beneficial aspect of the program?

The researcher interviewed five Black males to capture their lived experiences while attending associate-level college to conduct the study. Each participant participated in three separate individual interviews and one focus group. All interviews and focus group was digitally recorded and transcribed for accuracy. Three major themes emerged from the study: (a) Sense of Belonging, (b) Accountability, and (c) Positive Black Male Figure. In addition, the findings determined that the BMI mentoring program significantly impacted the participants’ success and aided participants in graduating from associate-level college.