Sustaining Trajectories

Black Males Persisting in Undergraduate Social Work Education


  • Lamont D. Simmons Salem State University



Black males, persistence, qualitative research, social work education, undergraduate


While the literature is replete with studies on persistence among students across academic majors, few studies examine the nature of persistence among Black males enrolled in baccalaureate social work programs. This qualitative study offers some insight into how a sample of four Black male graduates from an accredited baccalaureate social work program persisted toward degree attainment. Three themes emerged from this study: (a) family encouragement and support, (b) sense of belonging, and (c) presence of Black male professors. Findings suggest the need for social work educators to consider programmatic initiatives acknowledging the role of families in persistence efforts, facilitating connectedness, and recruiting Black male professors or other Black male mentors.


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