Lola Ames

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Coaxum III, James


African-American women college students; African-Americans--Education (Higher)


Higher Education


African American women make up a substantial percentage of the higher education student population. Research on their participation is disproportionately underrepresented and in many cases embedded within the experiences of Euro-American women and African American men. This method of grouping has potentially led to their invisibility in research on higher education experiences. To overcome this mishap, African American women's experience should be disaggregated from those of Euro-American women and African American males. In order to separate African American women's experiences, a phenomenological research design and theoretical framework, such as Black feminist thought are prudent. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to describe the lived transition experiences of African American women transferring from a community college to a four-year university that share a campus. Using Black feminist thought as a theoretical framework and Husserl's (1964) descriptive approach to phenomenological research, four African American women were asked to share their lived transition experiences. Their narratives were analyzed using Colaizzi and Giorgi's data analysis for phenomenological approach. The analysis revealed the following themes, the acquisition of racial socialization, acquisition of social capital for academic excellence, utilizing racial socialization, reentry, utilizing racial socialization, interlocking oppressions (race, class and/or gender, self-validation and self-definition, and advice to others. Some of the findings were consistent with the research on transition experiences, transfer shock and transfer ecstasy. Additional findings revealed the impact of interlocking oppressions, race class, and gender embedded within the transition experience, which affect their transition, but did not hamper their desire towards baccalaureate attainment.