Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Carlos V. Guzman
Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived
experiences of African American female presidents, vice presidents, deans, associate deans, and directors serving at a California community college (CCC) and to explore what African American cultural influences or other opportunities contributed to their becoming administrators.
Methodology: This phenomenological study explores the lived experiences of African American female administrators of CCCs. This study highlighted the essence of those lived experiences. The respondents were chosen based on specific criteria. The researcher then conducted structured web-conference interviews that described the essence of the lived experiences of the 10 African American female administrators of CCCs.
Findings: African American administrators of CCCs acknowledged the common stereotypes that influence how they are perceived. African American female administrators, as leaders, were perceived as angry Black women because they overly
expressed their passion and concerns for students. African American administrators of CCCs have to work harder to prove they are knowledgeable of their job and are competent. African American administrators of CCCs have a strong sense of their African American cultural identity.
Conclusion: This study supports the negative perception of African American females, which causes African American female administrators to question their leadership abilities. African American female administrators develop backbone from their lived experiences, which contributes to their success. African American female administrators develop resilience through the challenges they face during their career advancement. African American female administrators’ culture plays a significant role in their career choice, which shapes their perspectives on diversity at CCCs.
Recommendations: Additional research is needed in the area of underrepresentation of African American female administrators of CCCs. It would be beneficial to replicate this study using the population of African American female administrators of larger community college districts in the United States, and also to conduct a comparative analysis on the differences in lived experiences between Black and biracial female administrators.
Reynolds, Daria, "African American Females Holding Executive Administrative Positions at California Community Colleges: A Phenomenological Study of Cultural Influences and Opportunities" (2020). Dissertations. 340.