Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Galletta, Anne

Subject Headings

African American students -- Education (Secondary) -- Case studies, Public schools -- United States -- Case studies, Positive caring adults, communalism, African American student, academic success, socialization


This qualitative research study examines the reflections of African American adults on their high school journey to graduation in the late 20th Century from one Midwestern public school district where African- American students represented the majority of the student body. The particular emphasis of this study was to identify common factors that the participants perceive as critical to their own high school graduation, as the measure of academic success and lifelong learning. This dissertation addresses two research questions through the methodology of narrative inquiry: 1) what are the experiences of the African American adults who were educated in the same predominately African American Midwestern public school district, over a 20-year period? And 2) what factors do African American adults who successfully graduated from high school perceive as critical to their academic success and lifelong learning? The findings suggest that for these participants, full community support, and expectations set by adults in the community and school supported their success. Positive caring adults, solid peer relationships, and engaged school staff were also identified as critical to their high school graduation

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Philosophy Commons