Black Males and the Community College: Student Perspectives on Faculty and Academic Success

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This article highlights findings from a qualitative study of factors affecting the academic success of African American male students in the community college. Data was collected through interviews with 28 Black male students in a midsized institution in the southwestern United States. Findings illuminated four key faculty-initiated elements that serve to create and maintain positive faculty-student relationships: (a) being friendly and caring from the onset; (b) monitoring and proactively addressing students’ academic progress; (c) listening to students’ concerns; and (d) encouraging students to succeed. The intricate interrelationship of these elements are discussed through the “voices” and first-hand experiences of student participants. Implications for practice are discussed that suggest these four elements as basic components for faculty training and evaluation.