Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Second Advisor

Wilson-Hill, Zalphia

Third Advisor

Chambers, Crystal


African American undergraduate women, Black Feminist Thought, career aspirations, career development, intersectionality, race gender and class


African American women college students; Career development


Higher Education


Socio-political issues of race, gender, and class have had a lasting impact on African American women. This impact has historically shaped the reality and lived experiences of African American women including their employment and economic opportunities. At the heart of this impact are the career goals and aspirations of African American women, which are also influenced by race, gender, and class. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the perceptions of five African American undergraduate women regarding their career aspirations, and the impact that race, gender, and class have on those aspirations. The study was conducted at a predominantly White institution located in the Northeastern United States. Four themes emerged from the qualitative data collected. Those themes related to college preparation, helping others, campus experiences, and support systems. The implications from key findings suggest that African American women are in need of career development that transcends conventional strategies; recognizes the dynamics of race, gender, and class as a three-way intersection; and incorporates culturally relevant approaches appropriate to this group of students.