Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Orkideh Mohajeri, Ph.D

Committee Member

James Tweedy, Ed.D

Committee Member

Jason Wozniak, Ph.D

Committee Member

Jacqueline Hodes, Ed.D


This thesis addresses how a Black feminist approach in higher education institutions can contribute to the success of African American women students at predominantly white institutions. More specifically, I examine the barriers African American women students face and their strategies to seek support at their university. I utilized the methodology of Critical Action Research to analyze the interlocking systems of oppression that affect African American women as they navigate their undergraduate careers. In this thesis, I propose an organization, the Black Feminist Scholar Collective, that will empower African American women attending PWIs through mentoring, workshops, and smaller programs. The Black Feminist Scholar Collective will rely on the principles of Black Feminist Thought to provide encouragement to Black women student during their college journey and in their future professional roles. Strong leadership of this programmatic intervention will be transformative, dedicated to African American women reaching their fullest potential. This topic is significant because it highlights the persistent oppression and marginalization that African American women continue to face in the field of higher education. There are simply not enough spaces dedicated to ensuring African American women’s’ adjustment and success. Higher education professionals, policy makers, and stakeholders must begin implementing strategies to not only retain African American women students, but also equip them with skills important for their college experience and beyond.