Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler School of Education


Nathaniel B. Davis

Committee Member

Hardwick S. Johnson


Perceptions of African American Male College Students With Technical Majors on the Successful Pursuit of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Careers. Theodore Sharper, Jr., 2014: Applied Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler School of Education. ERIC Descriptors: STEM Education, African American Achievement, Black Studies, Engineering, Higher Education

This qualitative study examines the lived experiences of current African American male college students in order to determine motivators of persistence during the pursuit of undergraduate STEM degrees. African American males are noticeably underrepresented in technical fields like engineering, computer science, and mathematics. The need for America to maintain a global competitive advantage and dramatic changes in national demographics have created a sense of urgency regarding the recruitment of African American males into STEM degree programs (Palmer, Davis, Moore, & Hilton, 2010). To this end, research is required to further understand the experiences of current African American male STEM students to potentially increase participation in college STEM programs.

Contributors to success for African American males pursuing STEM degrees include (a) sound pre-college academic preparation, (b) maintaining high self-efficacy and outcome expectations, and (c) the establishment of reliable academic and social support structures on college campuses and at home. Pertinent data was collected to capture the perceptions and experiences of African American male learners. The findings were used in conjunction with the reviewed literature and the theoretical framework based on the constructs of Social Cognition Career Theory (SCCT) to formulate a grounded theory regarding determinants of persistence and success. Based on the data, the emergent theory may assist educators in increasing the participation of African American males in college STEM programs.

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