Creating a Seat for the Computer Science Doctorate: How Successful Black Women Navigate Academic Success on Their Own Terms Using Case Studies
DescriptionIn the United States, Black women are grossly underrepresented in computer science doctoral programs. Given the dearth of previous literature that has thoroughly explored Black women’s academic experiences in computer science Ph.D. programs., the purpose of this qualitative investigation is to explore the unique challenges that they encounter in the academy utilizing the Anti-Deficient Achievement Framework for STEM students. Interviews were conducted with 12 Black women currently enrolled in computer science doctoral programs across the country. Overall, it was found that Black women struggle with being the lone Black women in their programs, having to code-switch due to gender and race biases, having to deal with lower levels of psychological health and well-being, as well as a lack of academic advising from their faculty advisors. Additionally, this study provides a more nuanced understanding of the strategies they have used to remain resilient in their degree programs, which includes learning the tools to advocate for themselves and seeking counseling services. This interactive poster session utilizes case studies of Black women’s experiences to provide faculty mentors, higher education administrators, research scholars, and students with the opportunity to engage themselves in both asking and identifying potential solutions to help improve academic advisement for Black women, including women and minority students more broadly.