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What Next? An Exploration of Experiences that Influence Career Choice for African American Women in Student Affairs. Cheree L. Meeks. Benedictine University. Chapter 1: Introduction. Problem Statement.

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cheree l meeks
What Next? An Exploration of Experiences that Influence Career Choice for African American Women in Student Affairs

Cheree L. Meeks

Benedictine University

problem statement
Problem Statement
  • The number of minority women in student affairs reflects a higher number than in other areas of higher education.
  • There is limited research that examines factors that influence career choice and paths to advanced leadership of African American women specifically in student affairs.
  • There is an opportunity to learn more about why African American women choose to remain in positions in student affairs and the factors and experiences that impact those decisions.
purpose statement
Purpose Statement
  • The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore experiences that influence career choice, leadership paths and career satisfaction of African American women at four-year institutions in student affairs.
research questions
Research Questions
  • What experiences lead African American women to pursue a career in student affairs?
  • What factors influence career paths of African American women in four-year institutions in student affairs?
  • How do incidents or experiences impact decisions to remain in student affairs?
  • How do personal and professional memberships impact the career decisions of African American women in student affairs?
  • What is the impact of mentoring on African American women in student affairs?
framework
Framework
  • Black Feminist Theory
    • “exploration of experiences and ideas shared by ordinary black women that provide a unique angle of vision on self, community, and society” (Collins, 2008)
significance of the study
Significance of the Study
  • Research and Literature:
    • This study will provide the opportunity to learn more about the experiences of African American women who choose careers in student affairs.
    • The study will also explore how experiences impact the decision to stay in student affairs positions and whether or not to pursue higher level positions.
    • In the context of Black Feminist theory, research will provide insight regarding how various incidents and life experiences impact career choices and satisfaction in student affairs.
significance of the study1
Significance of the Study
  • In Practice:
    • Provide insight regarding strategies for increasing and retaining African American women in student affairs.
    • Offer perspective regarding factors that impact career path decisions.
literature
Literature
  • Because “the higher the fewer” continues to characterize the uneven representation of women in the upper ranks of prestige hierarchies, more research is needed to better understand how to disrupt gendered patterns and norms that shape perceptions of prestige in and between institutions (ASHE Higher Education Report, 2011).
literature1
Literature
  • In pursuit of Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO) status, research indicates an average of four job changes leads to the SSAO position, with most aspirants obtaining a doctorate, pursuing a student affairs career track, and gaining financial management experience (Biddix, Giddens, Darsey, Fricks, Tucker, and Robertson, 2012).
methodology
Methodology

Major Research Perspective: Qualitative

Qualitative Perspective: Phenomenological

Approach: Interpretive

methodology continued
Methodology continued

Population and Site: 7-10African American women in entry and mid-level positions in student affairs at four-year institutions across the country.

Sampling Procedures: Purposeful sampling. Participants will be purposefully selected based on their fit (African American, woman, entry or mid-level, student affairs)

methodology continued1
Methodology continued

Data Collection: Semi-structured, in-depth interviews.

This method of data collection allows the researcher to unpack the unique stories of each individual.

analysis
Analysis
  • Following semi-structured, in-depth interviews, the researcher will review the stories of the lived experiences to identify themes that connect with Black Feminist Theory. Differences will also be identified.
  • The shared experiences of the participants will be will offer insight on the phenomenon.
target audience
Target Audience
  • African American women interested in pursuing a career in student affairs
  • African American women currently in student affairs considering additional career opportunities
  • Institutions interested in recruiting and retaining African American women for leadership in student affairs
  • Practitioners interested in creating a culture and fostering an institutional climate to empower leadership among this group
references
References

ASHE Higher Education Report. (2011). Implications and recommendations. 37(1), 119-147.

Biddix, J., Giddens, B., Darsey, J., Fricks, J., Tucker, B., and Robertson, J. (2012). Career paths and choices leading to the Senior Student Affairs Office (SSAO) for women at community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 36(9), 713-732.

Collins, P. H. (2008). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment.Routledge.

bibliography as of 7 29 2012
Bibliography (as of 7/29/2012)

Alston, J. (2012). Standing on the promises: A new generation of black women scholars in educational leadership and beyond. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(1), 127-129.

ASHE Higher Education Report. (2011). Framing women’s status through multiple lenses. 37(1), 15-35.

ASHE Higher Education Report. (2011). Implications and recommendations. 37(1), 119-147.

Biddix, J., Giddens, B., Darsey, J., Fricks, J., Tucker, B., and Robertson, J. (2012). Career paths and choices leading to the Senior Student Affairs Office (SSAO) for women at community colleges. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 36(9), 713-732.

Collins, P. H. (2008). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment.Routledge.

bibliography as of 7 29 20121
Bibliography (as of 7/29/2012)

Grant, C. (2012). Advancing our legacy: A black feminist perspective on the significance of mentoring for African American women in educational leadership. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(1), 101-117.

Grogan, M. & Shakeshaft, C. (2011). Women and educational leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Martin, J. L. (2011). Women as leaders in education: Succeeding despite inequity, discrimination, and other challenges. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Miller, A. (2011). The effects of motherhood timing on career path. Journal of Population Economics, 24(3), 1071-1100.

Morris, L. (2011). Women in higher education: Access, success, and the future. Innovative Higher Education, 36(3), 145-147.

Nichols, J. C. & Tanksley, C. B. (2004). Revelations of African American women with terminal degrees: Overcoming obstacles to success. Negro Educational Review, 55(4), 175-185.

Taylor, U. (1998). The historical evolution of black feminist theory and praxis. Journal of Black Studies, 29(2), 234-253.