African American males in post secondary education

The African American male has come a long way in attaining post secondary education. However, there is still much to be done in the field of college or university education. This is because a substantial number of African American males still do not pursue university or college education. Statistics show that in 2003, only eleven percent of the entire college or university fraternity was composed of African American males. This is relatively small number compared to their other counterparts. (Bush & Bush, 2005)

This study is necessary in determining the underlying factors behind this underrepresentation. The study will also be imperative in determining the significance of external factors such as academic support in causing this underrepresentation. Furthermore, the research will also be instrumental in singling out the internal causative factors of these problems. There is a need to look at the self imposed hindrances that affect African American males so as to come up with the most plausible method for handling this problem.

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The chapter will focus on methodology employed in the research. In this case, it will refer to the use of interviews as the primary method of data analysis. The chapter will also examine the sampling methods to be used and the appropriateness of the research method employed to this particular topic.


The method used for data collection is known as phenomenological research. (Meyers et al, 2005) As the name indicates, the research will be looking into the phenomenon of low African American attendance in post secondary education with the intention of identifying what the major reason behind this phenomenon is. This research method employs utilization of a small sample of people who represent the subject under study (25 participants).

The major aim of doing this is so as to explore the hidden relationship between certain indicators. For instance in this case, the intention of the research is to explore the relationship between academic support and pursuance of post secondary education. In order to ascertain that there is indeed a link between these two parameters, it would be necessary to look into the general factors that denote academic support. These may include

·         Funding for education

·         Availability of family support

·         Presence of educational resources

·          others

All the factors that denote academic support may not be covered comprehensively when the respondents’ choices are limited like through a questionnaire. The researcher may not be able to outline all the possible causes of this under-representation and it may therefore be necessary to allow respondents to speak their mind. (Bryan and Bell, 2003)

Furthermore, the qualitative phenomenological method of collecting data is quite appropriate in this research are because it be extremely difficult to pinpoint some of the internal factors that hinder pursuance of post secondary achievement among African American males. Such a relationship can only be established when the researcher finds out the responses directly from the African American male himself.

This means that participants should be given an open environment where they can express themselves so as to reveal the underlying causes behind these indications. (Crotty, 1998)

In other words, qualitative research is more appropriate than quantitative research owing to a variety of reasons. First of all, qualitative research allows in-depth revelation of some hidden truths.  Sometimes, some unique occurrences cannot be second guessed. Qualitative analysis allows respondents to give answers that they hold true rather than those responses that have been chosen by the researcher or those responses that indicate stereotype ideas.

Qualitative research was also ideal for this research because it allows the respective individuals involved in the interview process to fully understand research question. This is especially applicable owing to the fact that the research will utilize interviews. The interview allows the respondent to ask questions about the facts that he does not understand. On the other hand, the interviewer also gets a chance to direct the interview process.

Since the two parties are speaking to open another in person, the researcher can direct or redirect the interview process in instances where the participant is going of course.

Such a method would not work in other types of research methods such as through observations. In observational methods, the researcher ought to minimize his/her inference and must leave the subject matter in their natural environment. Such an aspect severely impedes the usability of such a research approach owing to the fact that the participant can move away form the subject matter. (Babbie, 2005)

A Qualitative analysis in this case is more appropriate than a quantitative one because the phenomenon under investigation is not a one-time occurrence. The issue of participation in post secondary education is a long terms aspect. It is not an act that can be observed or indicated at one go.

Therefore, utilizing other methods of research may not answer any of the research questions. This phenomenon is an abstract one and can be extremely difficult to identify if respondents’ are not prodded for answers. This is the reason why the employment of qualitative phenomenological methods is appropriate in this lien of research.

Additionally, it should be noted that one cannot quantify the reason behind the underrepresentation of African American males in post secondary institutions. It would therefore be necessary to use another type of research methodology that allows a qualitative approach. (Mingers, 2003)



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