Date of Award

Spring 2-27-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Reid, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Noel Gordon, Ed.D


Academic Success, African American Males, Desegregation, Educators' Perceptions, Small Learning Communities


This qualitative study examines educators’ perspectives on how a small learning community impacted the academic achievement of African American males. This study examined a long-standing small learning community (XYZ) located in a suburb in northern New Jersey. This study identified common themes among the perceptions of educators employed at XYZ, regarding the academic achievement of African American males. This study pinpoints how XYZ educators define achieved success for African American male students and their perceptions regarding XYZ's influence on the academic success of African American males. This study focused solely on the educators' perceptions regarding African American male students, who have historically been identified as members of an underserved population.

This study examined qualitative data gathered from a focus group and individual interviews of various educators that have worked at XYZ, both past and present. The theoretical construct of this study is Phenomenology. This study establishes how the theory of Phenomenology is reflected in the SLC reform movement regarding the application, organization, continuation, frequency, and success of SLCs as a school reform model. The qualitative research from this study contributes to the discourse on SLCs as a viable educational reform for a targeted underserved population, such as African American males, which has historically presented an achievement gap compared to their Caucasian counterparts.