One of the possible research topics I plan to undertake involves analyzing the impact that mentoring can have on the graduation success rate of African American males, particularly when the mentor is a Black male and the relationship takes place in the south. In my opinion, these relationships can have a profound impact on a student’s ability to persist towards graduating from college. Though my research, I want to hear the stories of Black males who have benefited from successful mentoring relationships with other Black men. I believe that establishing a strong mentoring relationship with Black males at a young age can greatly improve their chance of academic success. Furthermore, I believe that mentoring is a strong early intervention mechanism to prevent Black males from dropping out of high school and deterring them from pursuing degrees in higher education. At the same time, I would like my research interest to focus on African American males in the south, but I would like my scope to focus on mentoring relationships between black men; both structured and unstructured.
The Schott Foundations Report (2008) on public education does a great job spelling out the educational inequities in graduation rates and achievement gaps impacting African American males in the United States, particularly in the south. The Schott Foundation on Public Education mission is to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced, quality pre K-12 public education (The Schott Foundation Report, 2010). The Schott Foundation has been proactive over the years by evaluating the success of national, state and local public systems in educating Black males (The Schott Foundation Report, 2010). One of the ultimate goals of the Schott Foundation is the raise awareness about the Black male achievement gap and challenge school districts to implement policies that foster academic success for Black males (The Schott Foundation Report, 2010). I also want to understand the role that geographic location plays in academic achievement. So, I conducted a search for literature that focused on academic achievement in the south as well.
Discussion of Literature Review
After reviewing the literature on mentoring in the three research paradigms (qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research), the following findings emerged: (a) The background on African American male academic achievement; (b) Academic Achievement of Black men in the South; (c) Mentoring overview and the effects of a mentoring relationship on the Black man; (d) The role that culturally responsive mentoring can play on the life of a Black male.
Background: African American Male Academic Achievement
In reviewing the literature on African American male’s performance in school, statistics overwhelmingly support the fact that there is a lower graduation success rate for Black males who reside in urban or inner-city neighborhoods (Morris & Monroe, 2009). These...