Repository logo

Knocking on the doors of opportunity: phenomenological study of how African American males have experienced their journey to the community college presidency




Bugg, Elmer A., Jr., author
Davies, Timothy Gray, advisor
Banning, James, committee member
Lewis, Chance, committee member
Hall, Bruce, committee member

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


This qualitative study elicited key themes in an attempt to understand the nature and essence of the career advancement experiences of a select group of African American male community college presidents. Research was conducted through a “culturally sensitive” research design (Tillman, 2002) that contained four elements: culturally congruent research approach; culturally specific knowledge; culturally sensitive data interpretation; and culturally informed theory and practice. A criterion-based sampling was employed to select the five African American male participants to this study (Patton, 1990). These participants were either sitting or recently retired executives with titles consistent with the definition of “president” utilized for this study. Semistructured interviews were used to gather data and a holistic-content approach to data analysis (Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, and Zilher, 1998) was conducted. Research revealed culturally informed career advancement strategies used to by these participants to achieve the position of community college president and suggests strategies for overcoming career advancement obstacles facing future African American male administrators seeking a presidency in American community colleges. The researcher is hopeful that the findings presented here will encourage future researchers to take up scholarly dialogue and/or a discussion of best practices that might serve to address the career advancement challenges facing African American male administrators aspiring for a community college presidency. In particular, comparative research needs to be conducted to provide a more in-depth understanding of how the reported barriers faced by African American males in this study differ from those experienced by their majority counterparts and other underrepresented groups. This research will need to be undertaken soon before a substantial history of lived experiences of African American community college presidents is lost due to pending retirements.


Covers not scanned.
Print version deaccessioned 2022.

Rights Access


Community college presidents
African American college presidents


Associated Publications