Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Educational Leadership

Committee Member

Dr. Tony W. Cawthon, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Cynthia Deaton

Committee Member

Dr. Robin J. Phelphs-Ward

Committee Member

Dr. Julie Martin


The purpose of this multiple case study was to gain a more in-depth understanding of how Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) serve as a form of Community Cultural Wealth for African American students and how HBCUs impact their decision to pursue a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) doctoral degree. In order to conduct this research study, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were used as the primary data sources. Additional data sources included demographic surveys, photo elicitation, and online resources. The primary research question used to guide this study included: • What aspects of CCW do African American students at HBCUs believe influence and assist them in enrolling in STEM doctoral programs? Additionally, the following questions were included to guide this study: • How do the experiences of African Americans at an HBCU affect their decision to enroll in a doctoral program? • What factors impacted African American students from HBCUs decision to enroll into a doctoral program? The questions were posed to explore the connection between African Americans who attend HBCUS and their enrollment into a STEM doctoral program. The main themes that emerged from the data were the following: (a) HBCUs serve as a source of Community Cultural Wealth in a number of ways; (b) faculty and peer to peer engagement; (c) exposure to research; (d) an aligned research agenda within the doctoral program; (e) a supportive graduate school environment; and (f) financial assistance to pursue a PhD. The findings were interpreted and situated in the context of existing literature and the conceptual framework of Community Cultural Wealth. Implications for policy/practice, study limitations, recommendations for future study, and the conclusion were also presented.



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