Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Learning, Leadership and Change

First Advisor

Charlane Starks, Ed.D.

First Committee Member

Marcia Hernandez, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Toniesha Webb, Ed.D.


Black women face barriers to higher education that include systemic racism and sexism that lead to self–doubt, discrimination, and familial and community support. They battle barriers to and within academia through the intersectionality of their sex and racial identity groups. As a response to the barriers they face in higher education, the purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of Black women navigating a doctoral program in education at a California State University. To explore the experiences of the participants, I used a qualitative study with a Heideggerian phenomenological approach and a Black feminist lens. A three­–question interview, which asked about the application process, admissions process, and first–year experience was used to explore the experiences of five Black women at two California State University campuses. The results of this study could be used to address the racial and gender equity gaps within the California State University system.





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