Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Sherilyn W. Poole

Committee Member

Theodore Kinasewitz


black women, presidency, race, and gender, career development


This applied dissertation explored the pervasive issue of underrepresentation among Black female college presidents. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of Black females as they navigate the path toward attaining the position of college president. By exploring these narratives, the study endeavored to shed light on the unique challenges, triumphs, and complexities inherent in the journey of Black women aspiring to leadership roles within higher education.

The core inquiry of this study revolved around understanding the experiences of Black female administrators in their pursuit of college presidencies. Guided by the theoretical lens of intersectionality, a phenomenological approach was adopted to delve into the multifaceted realities of these women. Seven former and current Black female college presidents and chancellors were engaged as participants, their insights sought through in-depth interviews. From these narratives, four prominent themes surfaced: preparation is key, sponsorships and mentorships influence career advancement, professional networks and affiliations are essential to career advancement, and heavy is the crown.

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