African American Doctoral Students at For-profit Colleges and Universities: A Critical Race Theory Exploration

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Title: African American Doctoral Students at For-profit Colleges and Universities: A Critical Race Theory Exploration
Author: Hall, Jodi Kristen
Advisors: Tuere Bowles, Committee Chair
Paul Bitting, Committee Member
Tina Hancock, Committee Member
Monica Leach, Committee Member
Abstract: ABSTRACT HALL, JODI. African American Doctoral Students at For-profit Colleges and Universities: A Critical Race Theory Exploration. (Under the direction of Dr. Tuere Bowles.) Many people regard the doctorate as the pinnacle of success. Despite the challenges of completing the terminal degree, the dream of earning the doctoral degree remains a goal for many every year. Understanding the phenomenon of African American student enrollment at for-profit colleges and universities (FPCUs) is necessary because many African Americans use these institutions as alternative degree sources. The purpose of this study was to explore how social and environmental factors shape the academic experiences of African American doctoral students at FPCUs. The research questions that guided this study are as follows: (1) What are the academic experiences of African American doctoral students enrolled at FPCUs? (2) What are the social experiences of African American doctoral students enrolled at FPCUs? (3) What enhances the success of African American doctoral students at FPCUs? (4) What impedes the success of African American doctoral students at FPCUs? Critical race theory provided the conceptual framework for exploring and analyzing narratives about the experiences of African American doctoral students at FPCUs. I collected data using a qualitative methodology that consisted of open-ended, semi questions in face-to-face interviews with twelve African American individuals who either completed doctoral degree at FPCUs or were currently enrolled at FPCUs. The findings revealed that race was not a factor in the educational experiences of these African Americans. The social context of the learning environment enhanced their potential for success. Four main conclusions of this study were that FPCUs provide an academic experience in which the negative effects of racism are diminished; the admissions process facilitates application; there are efficient and rigorous academic experiences as advertised; negative perceptions of FPCUs cloud students’ post graduate success; and flexibility from both the students and the FPCUs is important to economic stability.
Date: 2010-04-30
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Adult and Community College Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/6211


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