Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Educational Psychology


Educational Psychology

First Committee Member

Paul Jones, Co-Chair

Second Committee Member

Christine Clark, Co-Chair

Third Committee Member

Jean Cline

Fourth Committee Member

William E. Cross Jr.

Graduate Faculty Representative

Cliff McClain

Number of Pages



This is a multi-case study, utilizing in-depth interviews, of three African American male high school dropouts who are reentering an alternative high school program in Southern Nevada. The participants tell of their life experiences, broadly considered, in relationship to school, family, peers, and discrimination. Hearing their story in their own voices gives a forceful dimension to the statistics of the group many call the "endangered species." The in-depth interviews reveal the challenging experiences that many young African American men must rise above in order to survive, including the daily incidents of racism--both institutional and individual--that all African Americans endure. The research questions asked of each young man were: 1. What were the general lived experiences, family life influences, peer relationships, and/or other factors that led you to leave school early? 2. Was racial discrimination a factor in your dropping out? 3. What motivated you to return to school to get a diploma or GED? The findings of this study reveal data consistent with that in the current literature on African American male high school dropouts. In particular, these findings show that the participants felt that racism and discrimination were key factors in their leaving school early, and that their decision to reenter high school was their attempt to fight back against these negative influences and take control of their lives.


African American males; African American men; Black interviews; Black male case study; Case studies; Critical race theory; Discrimination in education; High school dropouts; Interviews; Qualitative study


Educational Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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