Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Herbert Exum


Academic Acheivement, Black Males, Ecological Theory, Resilience, School Counseling


The dominant discourse regarding Black males in America is that they are less academically successful than European American males and Black females. Similarly, Black males in the Bahamas are described as less successful than Black Bahamian females. School Counselors are in a unique position to alter the trajectory of success for Black males if they are knowledgeable of factors contributing to Black male academic success; have an awareness of the potential impact their unique roles can have; and develop and execute comprehensive, culturally responsive school counseling programs. While there is little research on the Achievement Gap in the Bahamas, much of the research in America has been conducted from a deficit perspective. This study uses a strength based perspective to identify and compare factors contributing to academic success in Black male high school students in the Bahamas and the United States and suggest a framework for responsive school counseling programs. Study results indicated that school counselors in the Bahamas and the United States were ineffective in meeting the needs of Black male students. These needs included supportive teachers, friends, parents and community mentors; a socially responsive school environment; being liked, accepted and appreciated; high teacher expectations; self-reliance (resilience), perseverance; a sense of hope and a purpose; and spirituality. Study results were analyzed from an ecological perspective and a comprehensive, culturally relevant framework was