Search ETDs:
A Critical Race Study of African American First-Generation Collegians' Pathway to Graduate Education
Robinson, Valerie O.

2014, Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, Educational Leadership.
This qualitative research study examines the educational pathways of first-generation Black or African-American college students who persisted through college and enrolled in an academic graduate program immediately following college graduation. The goal was to enrich understanding about the educational pathways that contributed to their graduate enrollment. The literature suggests first-generation college students lack cultural capital valuable to educational attainment. This study seeks a different explanation for this subgroup of first-generation students. Utilizing a narrative-inquiry methodology—involving multiple in-depth interviews—I compiled stories that both affirmed and countered published scholarship about first-generation graduate students. Critical Race Theory is the primary theoretical lens through which I viewed and interpreted participants’ stories.

This study suggests that participants entered college not wanting or anticipating race to influence their educational experiences. Yet, over time they concluded that race (not simply racial discrimination) mattered. Throughout college, prior to enrolling in graduate school, their developing racial identities allowed them to not simply respond to and overcome racial stereotyping or discrimination, but to optimally cultivate their academic talents and forge meaningful academic support systems that contributed to their success. The findings broaden and re-conceptualize cultural capital seldom recognized in the literature. This study suggests historical, political, and societal context matter when defining and operationalizing cultural capital. The participants’ experiences with race contributed to their academic success and educational advancement, specifically their strong family ties, academic families, and commitment to giving back to the Black community mattered toward their graduate enrollment.
Peter Magolda, Ph.D. (Committee Chair)
Denise Taliaferro Baszile, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Stephen Quaye, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
Sherrill Sellers, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
150 p.

Recommended Citations

Hide/Show APA Citation

Robinson, V. (2014). A Critical Race Study of African American First-Generation Collegians' Pathway to Graduate Education. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

Hide/Show MLA Citation

Robinson, Valerie. "A Critical Race Study of African American First-Generation Collegians' Pathway to Graduate Education." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2014. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 15 Dec 2017.

Hide/Show Chicago Citation

Robinson, Valerie "A Critical Race Study of African American First-Generation Collegians' Pathway to Graduate Education." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Miami University, 2014. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

Files

Robinson_Valerie_O_OhioLINKPDF_8_11_14.pdf (765.07 KB) View|Download