Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that impacted young urban African American and Latino males who chose to participate in interscholastic athletic programs and who also achieved academic success. This qualitative study employed a descriptive research design. The study captured the perceptions and lived experiences of urban males who participated in high school interscholastic athletics, successfully graduated from high school, and at the time of the study, were attending 2- or 4-year college institutions. Data were collected during individual interviews with the college-attending male athletes that focused on what motivated the participants to overcome challenges and achieve academic success. The study also collected data through individual interviews with the student participants’ parent(s) or mentor(s). The results of this study indicate that interscholastic athletic participation had a significant impact on the academic success of the African American and Latino males in the study. As a result of the support from multiple stakeholders across all aspects of their lives, the participating athletes maintained their commitment and focus to achieve. The positive impact of interscholastic athletics, family relationships, and a connection to their education helped to bridge the gap between community and school. The positive impact of family, school and others ultimately afforded participants the opportunity to achieve academic success. Recommendations include establishing a “web of support” for students in challenging circumstances and pursuing continued research in the area of family and community dynamics as they relate to students’ academic success.

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