Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Imposterized: The Experiences of Tenured and Tenure-track Black Women Instructional Faculty at California Community Colleges
by Robinson, Janet L., Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 205; 10825030
Abstract (Summary)

The increased diversity of students at community colleges makes support and retention of Black women instructional faculty critical. Black women instructional faculty may feel like imposters, receiving messages of inadequacy, despite their achievements. If so, such feelings may impede their ability to serve students and to thrive more generally in their roles. Until now, the question of whether or how Black women faculty working in community colleges experience the imposter phenomenon had not been asked.

Through 23 in-depth, one-on-one interviews, this qualitative study explored and assessed the presence of and success strategies utilized to counter the imposter phenomenon or other challenges experienced by tenured and tenure-track Black women instructional faculty members employed at California community colleges. Findings revealed contentment and job satisfaction. While participants were familiar with and had experienced the imposter phenomenon, there was a general absence of the phenomenon in their current roles due to positive on-campus relationships with colleagues and students. Microaggressions from colleagues and students related to appearance were reported, but these challenges were mitigated through established mentors and allies and a strong sense of cultural and personal identity. Established expertise and participation in professional development were also strategies that helped participants to navigate, persist, and thrive in their work environments.

Recommendations for policy include increased state funding for community college faculty members to participate in off-campus professional development training. Practice recommendations include interpersonal skills training for new department chairs and best-practice discussions among continuing department chairs throughout the year. Recommendations for future research include replicating the study in other states and among adjunct faculty in California.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Haviland, Don
Commitee: Davis, Shametrice, Vega, William M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: African American Studies, Womens studies, Higher education
Keywords: African American women, Black feminist thought, Community college, Faculty, Imposter phenomenon, Tenure
Publication Number: 10825030
ISBN: 978-0-438-17958-5
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