ERIC Number: EJ1120418
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
African-American Women's Experiences in Graduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education at a Predominantly White University: A Qualitative Investigation
Alexander, Quentin R.; Hermann, Mary A.
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, v9 n4 p307-322 Dec 2016
In this phenomenological investigation we used qualitative research methodology to examine the experiences of 8 African American women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate programs at 1 predominantly White university (PWU) in the South. Much of the current research in this area uses quantitative methods and only yields descriptive statistical information. By using qualitative methods, we sought to add significant context to currently available literature about the experiences of African American women in STEM graduate programs at PWUs. We conducted semistructured interviews with research participants. Additionally, participants completed a demographic questionnaire to give us more information about their backgrounds. We analyzed these sources of data to help understand participant experiences. Verbatim quotes from participant interviews were used to highlight experiences and give voice to an often silenced student population in graduate STEM education. Results indicated that participants experienced racial microaggressions, low self-efficacy, and a lack of institutional support while pursuing STEM graduate degrees at this PWU. We offer suggestions about ways issues revealed by participants might be addressed by PWU university personnel. Attention to these issues could make the experiences for African American women more positive while pursuing graduate STEM degrees.
Descriptors: African American Students, Females, STEM Education, Graduate Students, Student Experience, Qualitative Research, Phenomenology, Semi Structured Interviews, Questionnaires, Racial Bias, Self Efficacy, Student School Relationship, Critical Theory, Race
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A