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ERIC Number: ED546016
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 193
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-7590-6
The Experiences of Blacks Who Obtained Doctorates from Predominantly White Institutions
Nickelberry, Tressie A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, California Lutheran University
Being in a doctoral program requires a substantial amount of one's time, energy, and commitment. Doctoral students face many challenges while pursuing their degrees. For example, some may be on financial aid, work full-time, and/or have a family. While doctoral students face many hurdles, Black doctoral students face additional barriers. The purpose of this study was to reveal the perspectives and experiences of Blacks who obtained doctorates from predominately White institutions. This study offers insight into the atypical challenges that Black doctoral students faced while in graduate school, their motivation to persist, and the role of racial and ethnic identity in the graduate school experience. Qualitative research methods were used to examine the journey of those Black students, who completed their doctorates at predominately White institutions. Critical race theory and constructivism were used as the theoretical underpinnings of this study. Case study methodology was employed to provide each participant with the opportunity to vocalize their reality to obtain a better understanding of the overarching issue. Ten participants were interviewed for this study and their transcripts were analyzed to understand their perspectives on the experience. Three main themes emerged after analyzing the data, which explained the participants' doctoral journeys. First, the participants shared their motivation for continuing in the program. The participants explained that family impact, personal drive, and acknowledging that an education was the key to social mobility served as their motivation to complete their doctoral programs. Second, the individuals discussed the pressure they were made to feel that they had to represent their entire race. Typically, the participants were the only one or one of few students of color in their program. Last, the participants expressed that handling of diversity issues in the classroom was of concern to them. They felt that faculty and non-Black students did not embrace this area. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A