Date of Award



© 2019 D'Angelo S. Taylor

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

William Boozang

Second Advisor

Mary Patterson

Third Advisor

S. Bryan Rush


Black men collectively have not achieved the same success in graduation or retention as their counterparts in higher education. At the University of Southern Indiana, the four-year graduation rate for Black men sits at 1.5 percent which is more than twenty points lower than the 22 percent national average (National Center for Education Statistics, 2017). The purpose of this research was to examine the effectiveness and limitations of the Collegiate Men of Distinction mentoring program. This program was created to combat low persistence rates among the Black male population at the University. In creating the program, young men were given an opportunity to gain a real sense of belongingness, leadership skills, and to utilize university wraparound services.

Two instruments were used in this study. The instruments included an eleven-question interview and a fifteen-question survey. The population was defined as 16 Black students. The sample mean age was 21-24 (M = 21-24) and 100% of the sample were male (n = 16). Using NVivo 12 Pro, twenty-four nodes were found, six overarching themes were expressed, and six findings were noted. These findings included: • brotherhood is essential to success, • leadership is cultivated, not title-driven, • public speaking is encouraged and developed as skill, • service is necessary for leadership development, • the support of the program provides the participants with the proper wraparound resources, • the implementation of a time management plan paid dividends.

In conclusion, the study of the Collegiate Men of Distinction provided a first-hand insight into how Black young men search for camaraderie, grasp knowledge, and lead within a higher educational setting. From their shared experiences, different upbringings, and outlooks on life, this study encompasses a true variety individuals who continue to persist through the rigors of higher education. This study builds on the foundational knowledge that examines mentoring in educational spaces, more specifically, higher education. Finally, this phenomenological work provides a framework to delve into peer-mentoring and culturally-based mentorship programs.

Future researchers can build upon this study by: Conducting a mixed method study that correlates or shows causal relationships among a financial need, household makeup, and first-generation status as it pertains to the academic success and graduation of Black men; and conducting a multi-site study to compare and contrast peer-led mentoring programs at different colleges and universities in multiple regions of the country.


Ed.D. Dissertation