Re-framing and reimagining the doctoral student narrative: Black women's experiences in engineering and computer science
Recent data reveal that a higher percentage of Black women (9.7%) are enrolled in college than any other group, topping Asian women (8.7%), White women (7.1%) and White men (6.1%). Despite these gains in college attendance, Black women are often underrepresented in the fields of engineering and computer science. This paper presents the findings from a qualitative study that investigated the identity and experiences of Black women who are pursuing doctoral degrees in engineering and computer science. This research is grounded on the tenet that one cannot effectively serve or impact a community until he/she genuinely understands the issues and challenges facing the people who are its members. This work explores how Black female doctoral students persist in environments where they are grossly underrepresented. Content analysis is used to examine interview data obtained from 13 Black women who are pursing doctoral degrees in engineering and computer science. This paper concludes with some of the key challenges these women face in their programs on a daily basis. The goal of this research is to bring awareness to not only the challenges, but also potential strategies to increase the retention and persistence of Black women in engineering and computer science across all academic levels.
Artis, Sharnnia, Marjorie C. Shavers, Stacie LeSure, Breauna Marie Spencer, and Aishwarya P. Joshi. "Re-framing and Reimagining the Doctoral Student Narrative: Black Women's Experiences in Engineering and Computer Science." In 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. 2018.
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