Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NLU Access

Degree Name

Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy

Academic Discipline

Community Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Raymond Legler, PhD

Second Advisor

Dr. Tiffeny Jimenez, PhD

Third Advisor

Dr. Bradley Olson, PhD



With all the challenges that Chicago Public School students are facing today, there

are none greater than those faced by African American males. On all levels,

African American males have fallen short of achieving academically starting from

kindergarten and continuing through college enrollment and completion. The study

explores African American males and the challenges they face making the

transition from high school to higher education. The study used quantitative survey

(s) and an African American history assessment with 42 African American high

school males’ age 14 to 17 years old, from communities in Chicago Illinois that

include Englewood, Auburn Gresham, Roseland, and Bronzeville. The survey and

test assessed their views on (3) themes including African American History, self-

esteem, and college choice. A sample of 12 teachers, administrators, and mentors

shared their past academic and high school experiences, and experiences working

with African American males, and the challenges that lie ahead for their future.

Solutions to increasing African American college enrollment are discussed. The

results of the study revealed that although there is no relationship between self-

esteem and academic achievement, findings on the relationship between African

American history and academic achievement were revealed. In addition, factors on

the importance of African American males’ college choice, revealed that all four

factors academic, social, personal, and financial were evenly important to the

participants in the study. All participants’ from the qualitative sample, and the

quantitative sample, shared similar patterns in the college choice process, stating

the importance of parents, teachers, school administrators, and counselors’

support when making college choice decisions.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 25, 2025