Date of Award

2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

School of Education

Abstract

Voices of African American Women in Computer Science is a qualitative dissertation about African American women who have successfully completed a computer science degree. This research explored how computer science education departments in predominantly White institutions (PWIs) contribute to the oppression of African American females. Critical race feminism (CRF) provides the platform that places the voices of women of color who have successfully obtained a computer science degree despite difficulties that have been imposed by the reality of racial biases that are present throughout the American education system and American culture at large. This research was guided by the following primary question: What are the unique experiences that have influenced the success of African American females, who have obtained degrees in computer science from PWIs? in order to establish fulfilling narratives of the participants' experiences the following secondary questions are also relevant: What factors have influenced participants' decision to major in computer science? What were the experiences of the participants during their time in their computer science program? How do these women make meaning of their experiences? Both narrative analysis and analysis of narrative was used to interpret data gathered using detailed interviews. Findings were presented using both methods in an attempt to show a detailed use of data, as well as to also push the boundaries of CRF with the creation of guidelines for CRF methodology. the results show that African American women in computer science have unique but powerful stories. This study highlights both positive, and negative factors that influenced these women during and after their academic experiences and fills gaps left by previous research in this area. Overall, this study holds implications for K-12 and higher education institutions as well as policymakers, and those who would simply pick up the torch of mentorship.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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