Rethinking Excellence: Black Male Student Success and Academic Values in Higher Education

Bryan Hotchkins, T. Elon Dancy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research uses a qualitative case study approach to explore how African American male collegians embody and perform various forms of excellence within a predominantly White institution (PWI). Analyzing data on high-achieving Black males with excellence theory (Prakash & Waks, 1985), the study is anchored in three themes implicating current notions of excellence in higher education: 1) major focus as the “major focus,” 2) Black + male + nerd = academic anomaly, and 3) intergenerational fulfillment. The authors argue that participants’ experiences with anti-Black racism, which required resilience, fostered higher ordered critical thinking, advanced the path to self-actualization, and reinforced a commitment to social justice, comprise collegiate excellence outcomes. Hence, the authors’ focus additionally allows for an exposure of the biases revealed amid institutional disregard of these developments. The authors conclude with a critical discussion of higher education purpose and, su
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25
JournalSpectrum: A Journal on Black Men
StatePublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Rethinking Excellence: Black Male Student Success and Academic Values in Higher Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this