The purpose of this study was to determine the institutional factors that African American male students identified as influencing their educational attainment in higher education. The following research question guided this study: What institutional factors do African American male students identify as influencing their educational attainment at their respective universities? Throughout the years, there have been numerous theories developed to understand the challenge of college student retention. Alexander Astin (1991) proposed one of the first models, the input-environment-outcome (I-E-O) model. In this model, there are three sets of elements considered: inputs, environment, and outcomes. Inputs are the family backgrounds, demographic characteristics, and academic experiences that students bring to college (Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). The environment is the range of people, programs, policies, cultures, and experiences that students encounter in college; and outcomes are students' characteristics, knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, behaviors, and beliefs as they exist after college. According to Astin's (1985) student involvement is defined as the amount of energy a student commits to their education, the energy a student devotes to their studies, their level of participation in campus organizations, and the frequency of interacts among professors and other students. In contrast, an uninvolved student is apathetic towards his education, does not get involved in extracurricular activities, and infrequently interacts with professors and other students (Astin, 1999).



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