Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1997


The primary purpose of the study was to examine what institutional factors most influenced the decision of African-American male doctoral scholars to persist unto graduation. The literature review showed mentoring, institutional climate, race relations, and social adjustment as key factors in persistence of minorities in graduate studies. An objective specific to the study was to explore the cumulative outcomes that mentoring, social adjustment, institutional climate, and race relations have upon persistence. The population included scholars at both Predominantly White Colleges (PWIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) throughout the United States in Colleges of Education. One hundred sixty-four scholars responded representing a return rate of 96%. The African-American Male Doctoral Scholar Survey was employed to collect data. Analyses of the data included ANOVA, independent sample t-tests, analysis of frequencies, percentages of responses, and Tukey's Post-hoc analysis. Responses to open-ended questions were analyzed and cited from comments written by scholars. There were six major findings. Factors affecting scholars' decision to persist unto graduation at PWIs differed from those who attended HBCUs when considering mentoring, social adjustment, race relations, and institutional climate. No significant differences were discovered between age groups upon the decision of scholars to persist. Employment classification affected persistence of scholars at both types of institutions. Institutional geographical location affected the decision of scholars to persist. Scholars' classification status did not affect persistence at either type of institution. The number of scholars within the department significantly influenced persistence unto graduation. Recommendations were made for replication of the study and refinement of the instrument. A 13-point institutional plan of action was developed toward improving the persistence rate of scholars. A 12-point plan was developed to assist scholars in achieving a successful doctoral experience.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access