Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education

Document Type



Grounded in a conceptual framework informed by Social Cognitive Career Theory, Intersectionality, and Community Cultural Wealth, this study explored the experiences of 17 Black women who graduated from STEM undergraduate programs at predominantly White institutions (PWIs). Utilizing a qualitative study approach provided rich, detailed insights into the internal and external contributors at play in the lives of the Black women who successfully navigated their STEM undergraduate programs at PWIs. Through the exploration of their individual and collective experiences, this study illuminated four major themes: (1) asserting one’s sense of belonging in the pursuit of a STEM career, (2) the value of cultural capital at various educational stages, (3) K–16 exposure and opportunities supporting academic achievement, and (4) mentorship and support within the Black community. By amplifying the participants’ individual and collective voices, their experiences assisted in filling the gap in the existing literature about Black women’s educational journeys in STEM, from pre-college socialization to postgraduate pursuits.



Committee Chair

Clayton, Ashley B.



Available for download on Sunday, April 06, 2025