Date Approved

4-6-2018

Embargo Period

4-12-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Second Advisor

Wilson-Hill, Zalphia

Third Advisor

Chambers, Crystal

Subject(s)

African American women college students; Career development

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

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.

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