Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Anthony Chiarlitti

Second Supervisor

Dr. William Leipold


The overarching objective of this study was aimed to examine how BIPOC mentor faculty were able to persevere the challenges they faced during their post-secondary academic experiences to become licensed architects and urban planners, as well as to identify the motivating factors that contributed to them committing their time to mentoring students of color in NOMA's Project Pipeline bridge program. This study also looked at how their lived experiences shaped their approach to teaching the design justice principles within the NOMA’s Project Pipeline curriculum to help stimulate URMs' interest in pursuing post-secondary study in architecture or design. The hypothesis proposed that through culturally responsive practices such as providing access to participate in civic engagement activities underscored with access to BIPOC mentorship, bridge programs focusing help catalyze the interest of students of color in architecture by using social justice as a tool and design justice principles as a cornerstone of pedagogy to foster self-efficacy and vocational identity development. The findings revealed three critical high-quality connections (HQCs) that aided each BIPOC mentor in overcoming racial battle fatigue and completing their post-secondary studies successfully: (a) prior exposure to architecture in secondary education, (b) access to culturally responsive curricula and practices which supported their vocational identity development, and (c) access to a source of moral support from a BIPOC mentor or peers throughout their academic journeys in college.

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