Author(s)

Frankie Nicholson

Date Approved

7-12-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Doolittle, Gini

Subject(s)

Doctoral students;African-Americans

Disciplines

Higher Education Administration

Abstract

Education has been the path to battle moral injustice and to encourage self-governing dialogue about doing the "right thing" (Freire, 1998; Fullan, 2007; Hurtado et al., 1999; Tatum, 1992). Fullan (2007) claims that education is the "vehicle" to diminish inequities for the academically disadvantaged. Through interviews and conversations regarding their experiences and perceptions, this research study "gives voice" to African American doctorates, current doctoral students, and doctoral students who chose not to complete the doctoral educational leadership program at a regional comprehensive university in a Mid-Atlantic State (Allen, 1992, 2000; Delgado, 1995; Freeman, 1997; Soloranzo & Yosso, 2000, 2001). Using Critical Race Theory as a conceptual framework for analysis, the experiences of participants indicate that academic inequities for candidates seeking terminal degrees continue to exist. Findings suggest that support systems are needed at predominately White institutions for African American doctoral students to navigate socially and academically (Astin, 1993; Freeman, 1997; Tinto, 1975). The integration of these programs would enhance the success and retention of African American doctoral students (Freeman, 1997).

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