Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Higher Education Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Stuart Carrier

Second Advisor

Dr. Jamal Scott

Third Advisor

Dr. Estee Hernández


This research uses modified photovoice combined with an ecological and antideficit approach to amplify the voices of Black men who have completed college degrees. The study explores the question: What factors contribute to college completion for Black men? Using a qualitative approach and the Ethos platform to collect images, photo captions, and critical reflection data from a purposive sample of five Black men. Data analysis included inductive and deductive coding, data organization within the ecological systems, and member checking to validate the findings. The study acknowledges the unique challenges Black men face in pursuing higher education. It emphasizes the importance of contextual factors in their experiences, focusing on strengths and assets rather than deficits and limitations. The findings indicate that family support, peer relationships, personality traits, spirituality, and mentors were critical influences on degree completion for Black men. The research accentuates the significance of applying multidimensional and antideficit approaches to center the voices of Black men who have completed college degrees. Participants’ stories provide implications for programming, policies, and resources that promote the well-being and success of Black men in higher education and beyond. By understanding and building on their strengths and assets, researchers and practitioners can gain deeper insights into the lived experiences of Black men, leading to more effective interventions and policies that address their needs.