Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Navigating a Doctoral Program While the Ship is Sinking: A Black Woman’s Journey
by Williams-Robinson, Charise Ivonne, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 197; 27546288
Abstract (Summary)

The percentage of African American women (AAW) who have matriculated in graduate studies have grown considerably in the last decade. Despite the increase, literature shows that AAW are still more prone than other women to withdraw from doctoral programs. Reasons for withdrawal included: family duties and responsibilities, work-related pressure and stress, financial hardships, unclear expectations, need of community, and lack of mentoring and support.

The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to explore the factors that contributed to the social, emotional, sacrificial, and overall educational experiences of five AAW who completed a doctoral program in Educational Leadership; and the impact the doctorate degree has had on their lives in the various stages of the doctoral process and post-completion.

Black Feminist Thought (BFT) was utilized as the theoretical framework to investigate, analyze, embody, and validate the connection between the research and the unique life experiences of these women. This narrative inquiry included two open-ended, 90-minute interviews of each of the five AAW participants. Five major findings were derived from the data analysis: influence, challenges and barriers, motivation, can and will do-it-ness, and purpose.

Study participants recommended that persistence of re-entry AAW in doctoral programs and the frequency of interaction between AAW doctoral students and faculty, staff, and university in relationship to mentoring and other support services should be further researched. Further research may be of significant importance to doctoral programs on the various types of support or encouragement their nontraditional AAW doctoral students need during vital and timely processes in the doctoral stages.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Li, Xin
Commitee: Filer, Janice, Ortiz, Anna
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/8(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership
Keywords: African American biology
Publication Number: 27546288
ISBN: 9781658420631
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