Resiliency factors of minority males
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Recent reports indicate that there is an educational crisis facing young men of color. It is well documented that the number of minority males taking the academic pipeline to post secondary education is minimal. In fact, the latest data shows that the prison population encompasses more African American males at 40% than the number of African American males entering college at a rate of only 37%. Hispanic males entering college upon completion of high school occurs at a rate of 46%, but pales in comparison to the 59% of white males entering college. The educational issues facing minority males include poverty, lack of participation in college ready coursework, gangs, single parent homes, and a cadre of other at-risk factors. Yet, there are instances of success within the minority male population that despite adversities the individual overcame their circumstances. This qualitative case study was designed to investigate these specific individuals to reveal common characteristics, emerging themes, and promising programs that could translate into practices that could be utilized by educational leaders within the school setting to promote resiliency factors within minority male students. Through the use of educator recommendation, 5 purposefully selected participants will be identified for selection to take part in the study. There were three data collection methods employed to allow for triangulation of the rich data in order to obtain credibility within the study. The primary source of data collection was face-to-face interviews. Additional methods of data collection methods consisted of transcript reviews by the interviewee and a follow up discussion. The there were 14 themes that emerged from the data organized by each research question. The first research question revealed that a positive identification with school, a sense of academic achievement, the existence of a parent who supported education, involvement in extra-curricular activities, the ability to set goals for higher education, positive support from a caring adult, and the sense of a guardian angel or faith were all factors that contributed to these participants success. The second and third research questions revealed participation in a positive peer group, involvement in church, use of a negative life event reframed into a positive motivating force, being persistent, involvement in an educational program of interest, positive learning experiences in the classroom, and the establishment of a positive teacher/coach and student relationship were contributing factors in the positive development of the participants. Thus, there are instances where minority males have succeeded in the face of adverse situations. It is through capturing the participants’ voice through the use of the qualitative case study that the identification of promising practices and the above mentioned themes can now be put into action by educational leaders within the school system to increase this phenomenon.