“They Don’t Value My Knowledge”: Interrogating the Racialized Experiences of Black First-Generation Doctoral Students in HESA Programs at HWIs

Wallace & Ford / Journal of First-generation Student Success / August 2021

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Research on first-generation doctoral students and Black doctoral students have largely remained separate despite the significant overlap in the two populations. With almost half of Black doctoral students identifying as first-generation, it is critical for higher education and student affairs (HESA) faculty and institutional leaders to understand the intersectional experiences of these students to successfully recruit, retain, and graduate this population. While necessary in all fields, it is even more important to remove systemic barriers in a field that espouses social justice as a value, like student affairs. This study seeks to explore the experiences of Black first-generation doctoral students in HESA programs at historically white institutions.

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