A mixed methods exploratory study of black male student athletes' experiences at a historically black university
Cooper, Joseph Nehemiah
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The purpose of this study was to identify key influences associated with the academic achievement and college experiences of Black male student athletes at a Historically Black University (HBU) in the southeastern United States. An HBU was selected for this study, both because of its unique educational environment and because there is a dearth of research on student athletes’ experiences at these institutions. This mixed methods exploratory study involved an institutional document review, a Student Athlete College Experiences Questionnaire (SACEQ), three focus group interviews, and four in-depth individual interviews. A concurrent triangulation exploratory design allowed qualitative and quantitative data to be collected simultaneously, analyzed independently, and integrated at the interpretation phase (Creswell, 2009). Participants in this study were Black male student athletes who participated in football and/or men’s basketball at the targeted HBU. Data was analyzed using an interpretive interactionism paradigmatic stance to attain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences and perceptions of the participants (Denzin, 2001). Additionally, institutional theory (Powell & DiMaggio, 1991) was applied to highlight key institutional practices at an HBU that contributed to Black male student athletes’ academic achievement and positive college experiences.