Studying Success

“I begin with a plea to the nation: please stop mischaracterizing young men of color as hopeless thugs who care nothing about their education, communities, and futures. Ways in which Black and Latino male teens, especially those who reside in America’s largest cities, are persistently portrayed in media and elsewhere negatively affect society’s expectations of them and, at times, their expectations of themselves. Visions of them in urban high schools are almost universally negative – they are expected to be the perpetrators of school violence and at the bottom of every statistical metric of educational excellence. Viewing these young men through deficit-colored lenses sustains a depressing, one-sided narrative about their social and educational outlook. They deserve to be seen differently, hence the purpose of this study.” ~ Dr. Shaun Harper, Succeeding in the City

The Succeeding in the City report is a seminal study of Black and Latino male high school achievement in the 40 ESI schools. The report provides key findings about how successful Black and Latino male students navigate the demands of high school and the transitions to college. Professor Shaun Harper and his team of researchers from the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at U Penn interviewed 415 Black and Latino male students who currently attend, or graduated from ESI schools. Using an anti-deficit approach, this study shares insights from black and Latino young men who become college and career ready and perservere through college.

Meet Young Men of Succeeding in the City

  • Marlon Bernardez
    Renaissance High School

  • Eddie Torres

About Dr. Shaun Harper

“Shaun R. Harper founded the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education in 2011. He is author of over 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications. These journals include The Review of Research in Education, Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, Harvard Educational Review, and Teachers College Record. Professor Harper’s research has been cited in over 3,300 publications. His twelve books include Advancing Black Male Student Success from Preschool through Ph.D. (2016), Student Engagement in Higher Education (2009, 2014), College Men and Masculinities (2010), and the 5th edition of Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession (2011).
Dr. Harper is an elected member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Executive Council, and formerly served on the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Board of Directors and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Board of Directors. He serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Higher Education and American Educational Research Journal, and was previously associate editor of Educational Researcher. AERA presented Dr. Harper its 2010 Early Career Award (Division G) and 2014 Relating Research to Practice Award. He also received the 2008 ASHE Early Career Award, the 2012 NASPA Robert H. Shaffer Award for Faculty Excellence, and the 2014 American College Personnel Association Contribution to Knowledge Award.”