Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

David M. Anderson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Copeland, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Toni Stokes Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Theresa Saunders, Ph.D.

Abstract

One of the most urgent challenges of the digital divide is the need to expand technology literacy. Access to technology was believed to be one of the causes for the discrepancy that exists, but there is a deeper divide: the divide that exists between technology literacy, and career readiness. Although access to technology has improved over time, the educational outcomes for Black males in related fields have not. A critical area of concern is the lack of a Black male professional presence in technology fields, which has serious implications for the future of our society. These implications include a less diverse workforce and a negative impact on Black males’ sense of identity. This study identified the factors that may impact the ability of Black males to acquire high levels of technological literacy. A model composed of environmental factors and individual influences that could affect technology literacy was proposed and tested. Data collection was accomplished through surveying undergraduate Black male students who have senior or junior level class standing and are enrolled in computer science or information technology (IT) related programs at institutions of higher learning in the United States. Findings indicated a significantly negative relationship between Black males and the acquisition of technology literacy, and a positive relationship between institutional support and technological literacy. The positive relationship between ethnicity and institutional support, lessened this impact for Black males. The implications of the research will be used to help institutions develop interventions aimed at increasing technology literacy, and ultimately leading to a larger presence of Black males in these fields.

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