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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Joseph B. Berger

Second Advisor

Sharon F. Rallis

Third Advisor

Mzamo Mangaliso

Subject Categories

Community-Based Learning | Early Childhood Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership | Educational Sociology | Family, Life Course, and Society | Higher Education | Higher Education Administration | Social Work | Urban Education


GETTING IT RIGHT: AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS AND THEIR EARLY CULTIVATION OF SELF-EFFICACY MAY 2017 JAMES ANTHONY RANDALL, B.A., MOREHOUSE COLLEGE M.S.W., UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA, COLLEGE OF SOCIAL POLICY AND PRACTICE Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST Directed by Joseph B. Berger Education remains the single most important means by which individuals in the United States can empower themselves economically, socially, and personally. In spite of this, a significant percentage of young African American males do not even appear to be competing or reaching for the educational opportunities before them as they rank the poorest amongst their peers in a myriad of academic indicators. Despite the significant body of research describing the various barriers to African American males’ academic achievement, there remains little research seeking to understand why numerous African American males do achieve academically and professionally despite facing many of the same ecological factors as their peers. This study seeks to provide new knowledge about how and why African American males achieve, by focusing on eleven highly successful and efficacious African American male college/university presidents. It examines a) the formation of each president’s educational identity and beliefs, as well as b) the development of their sense of agency and resilience, and c) how, despite their individual hurdles, they were able to thrive – all essential elements of self-efficacy. By examining each president’s responses through a self-efficacy framework, this work hopes to reveal new themes about race and gender, African American males in particular, and to discover instrumental elements that can lead to academic success in the classroom for a new generation of young, African-American males.