Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Anthony P. Chiarlitti

Second Supervisor

Dr. Jacqueline J. Jeffrey


This interpretative phenomenological study used theoretical and conceptual frameworks based on critical race theory and relational cultural theory. The purpose was to analyze and understand the perceptions of seven tenured Black women community college professors regarding relational mentoring, navigating barriers, and achieving tenure at a large public university system in the northeastern United States. The underrepresentation of Black women faculty members can be attributed to factors that affect the tenure process, including: gendered racism, social isolation, unreceptive and alienating campus climates, lack of access to research opportunities, discredited scholarly research, increased teaching and service committee assignments, and lack of mentoring. Based on the findings of this study, mentoring and networking programs can help to address and eliminate barriers, and provide support and access to Black women community college faculty members, as well as contribute to the recruitment and retention of minority faculty members. For institutional leaders, this research offers insight into the plight of Black women community college professors as they navigate a tenure process that represents institutional and organizational norms that are entrenched in systemic racism and sexism.

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