Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Steve Bounds

Second Committee Member

Dr. John A. Freeman

Third Committee Member

Dr. Charity Smith

Program Director

Dr. John A. Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Richard Schoephoerster


African American males inequitably experience two to three times more out-of-school suspensions among other exclusionary discipline practices in comparison with other racial groups, which causes them to become academically disengaged, increases their association with deviant peers, makes them resent of school personnel, and leads them to experience a heightened sense of alienation. Although much is known about the effects of mentorship programs, there has been little inquiry or research to investigate the relationship between in-school suspensions and out-of-school suspensions of fifth-grade African American male students with and without a mentorship program. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was any relationship between the number of suspensions and participation in a mentorship program involving fifth-grade African American male students in an urban school district located in central Arkansas. This study’s population consisted of 49 females, 26 males who received the mentorship intervention, and 16 males who did not receive the intervention. The researcher retrieved archived data from over two academic school years to examine the program’s effectiveness. The study findings suggest that the mentorship program did not affect the in-school suspension and out-of-school suspensions. The researcher recommended that the Kings-In-Training mentorship program increase the frequency of meeting times to be more effective. Consequently, the study suggested the following strategies: 1) convert to or partner with a community-based program; 2) deviate from a same-race, same-gender mentors to allow different-race or different gender mentors; 3) provide all mentors professional development about African centered education and the cultural risk contributors of the community. The researcher suggested future searchers consider using a larger sample size, a more affluent area where the crime rate is not as high, or even to involve other ethnicities.