Date of Award

Fall 8-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. John Henschke

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephen Sherblom

Third Advisor

Mr. Eric Rowe


This is a study of the experiences of Black male teenagers in an after-school program designed to increase self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the measure of one‘s confidence in their capacity to achieve an ultimate goal. Inequality has proven to be a cyclical state-of-being that plagues families from one generation to another. In many instances, Black families find themselves in this cycle of inequality. Education seems to be a factor in breaking the cycle. This study was developed under the belief that there are also qualitative components that must be considered when it comes to erasing the gap between minority and white students. The research question was: Self-efficacy: What happens when it is promoted in an after-school program for Black youths? The name of the after-school program was The Journey and the meetings took place in a classroom in the school building. The participants in this study were all Black males. The participants were chosen randomly from those who met criteria determined by the mentors who conducted The Journey meetings. To answer the research question, the researcher developed an observational protocol to record observations during each meeting. A questionnaire was also created in order to determine any change in self-efficacy. Lastly, interviews were conducted with each participant at the conclusion of the study. It was found that participants experienced an immediate short-term increase in self-efficacy as determined by qualitative data analysis. The participants created goals in the program that were often lofty and not attainable. The challenge was determining how to maintain that increased level of self-efficacy and motivating the participants to act on it. The participants also exhibited actions apart from the study environment that did not iii align with the future goals they set. Additionally, participants were moved by their present stimuli and circumstances to make decisions that adversely affect their future. Future researchers may benefit from this research by considering how to support a Black male living in poverty to seek and consistently apply knowledge while maneuvering around the obstacles of poverty.


Copyright 2012