Supporting High-Achieving Nontraditional Black Male Undergraduates: Implications for Theory, Policy, and Practice

Ramon Bailey Goings


To address deficit-oriented discourse about Black males in higher education, researchers have begun to focus on high-achieving Black males. Despite this focus, there is limited research on high-achieving nontraditional Black males (HNBMs). The purpose of this article is to urge the start of a new scholarly conversation focused on investigating the experiences of HNBM collegians in order to develop programs and policies to support the retention and graduation of all nontraditional Black males. To begin this conversation, I first examine the challenges that nontraditional Black students face in higher education to contextualize the need for studies that focus on HNBM collegians. Second, I discuss the current literature which explores the experiences of high-achieving Black male students and how focusing on HNBMs fills a gap in the scholarly discourse. Lastly, the article concludes with implications for theory, university policymakers, and practitioners.

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