Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education

Document Type



This three-part qualitative study explored the factors that contribute to the success of African American female students’ persistence in engineering majors. This study also addressed obstacles African American female students face and overcome to persist in engineering majors. Examining African American women in engineering who persist would be an effective method to provide academic support and increase participation amongst this underrepresented group. In addition to exploring the challenges and barriers faced by African American women, this study also acknowledged the skills, perspectives and resources African American women bring to engineering and engineering education. Highlighting their distinctive contributions and attributes would challenge implicit and explicit orientation in which this demographic is often framed (Fletcher et al, 2016). This investigative three-part dissertation consists of a narrative literature review to best examine current literature in the field and two empirical studies that address how African American women persist and navigate engineering spaces.



Committee Chair

Kenny Varner

Available for download on Saturday, November 13, 2021