Perspectives of Black Male Students on the Importance of “Focus”

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This article reports on selected findings from a qualitative study of factors affecting the academic success of Black male students in the community college. Data from this study was collected through semistructured interviews with 28 participants at Desert Valley Community College (SVCC) (a pseudonym). SVCC is a mid- sized institution located in the Southwestern United States. Findings address the concept of “focus,” the degree of attention students direct toward their academic goals. In general, participants noted that when they were “focused” on college, they succeeded academically; while a lack of focus was associated with poor success. The intricacies and outcomes associated with being focused are presented.