Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Catherine L. Polydore

Thesis Committee Member

Mona Y. Davenport

Thesis Committee Member

Ceci Brinker


Using qualitative methodology the researcher analyzed the lived experiences of seven African American men who attended Eastern Illinois University over the past seven decades including one who is currently enrolled. Data was collected by conducting archival research as well and semi-structured interviews. Overall participants reported having good experiences at Eastern Illinois University. The participants' experiences were categorized into seven themes including faculty or staff relations, race relations, intra-racial relations, campus involvement, mentoring, campus climate, and Black Greek organizations. In addition, minor themes were also discovered including only-ness, lowered expectations, positive influence of student organizations, and sense of care from mentors.