Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Amy Scott

First Committee Member

Dr. Amy Scott

Second Committee Member

Dr. Marcia Hernandez

Third Committee Member

Dr. Eunie Jung


This dissertation addresses African American women's intricate challenges at predominantly white institutions (PWIs), exploring the outcomes of navigating a sense of belonging which eventually affects one's well-being within this professional context. The study employs a qualitative approach to delve into the experiences of those who work or have worked in the environment. By capturing the personal narratives of African American women in various roles at PWIs, the research aims to understand the intersectionality of race and gender dynamics impacting their professional lives. The literature review contextualizes the study by discussing the challenges identified in existing research, including the marginalization experiences and their implications on physical and emotional well-being. With a focus on the ideological hegemony affecting Black women in academia, the review underscores the importance of addressing the challenges that African American women face.

The methodology involves gathering demographic information on African-American women employed or previously employed at a PWI (within the last ten years) utilizing semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis is employed to derive insights from the participants' narratives, emphasizing the significance of capturing the essence of their experiences. The findings are expected to reveal three salient themes: experiencing and navigating challenges African American Women at PWIs Face, the phenomenological realities in their experiences and the importance of well-being. The dissertation concludes by discussing the study's broader implications for addressing institutional support. It contributes valuable insights to the ongoing dialogue on diversity and inclusion in higher education. It identifies avenues for future research and proposes interventions to enhance the experiences of African American women in various roles within PWIs. Ultimately, this research aims to advocate for a more inclusive and supportive environment for African American women at PWIs, fostering their personal and professional success.





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