Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



The government as expressed the importance of a post-secondary education for career advancement, and they have displayed the income increase and rate of return between post-secondary degrees and a high school diploma. Due to the benefits of income and career advancement with a post-secondary education, more women are enrolling in colleges and universities, especially African-American single mothers; however, the graduation rate with this group is low. Little research concentrated on the experiences of African-American single mothers while obtaining their post-secondary education, and more research has focused on the connection between the women and stereotypes that followed the race since slavery. The purpose of this study is to negate the stereotypical perceptions of African-American single mothers and to prove that some of them are motivated to obtain their post-secondary education for the betterment of their children. This study investigated the experiences of African-American single mothers while persisting in post-secondary education for career advancement and financial stability for their children. This qualitative study centered Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and Self-Efficacy, and it consisted of eight participants between the ages of 26-59 who were teenage mothers and graduated with a post-secondary education; furthermore, the narratives from the participants will detail the barriers and external supports faced while persisting in their post-secondary education. Several themes and sub-themes were identified from the narratives to show similarities with the participants’ experiences.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Vasching-Varner, Kenneth



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Education Commons