Date of Award

5-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jeannine Dingus-Eason

Second Supervisor

Susan Schultz

Abstract

Despite increasing enrollment of Black deaf college students in recent decades, graduation rates have not improved. This study clarifies Black deaf students’ experiences and highlights strategies that facilitate student persistence in college. This qualitative phenomenological study used a triangulated method of data collection to enhance credibility and gain participant trust. It included demographic surveys and in-depth interviews supplemented by field notes. After data analysis, findings were identified based on Tinto’s student integration theory (1993). Three major themes are identified, including Peer Connectedness, which participants considered the most important factor in Black deaf student retention; Defining Black Deaf Identity, which considered the unique challenges Black deaf students face in defining their own identities; and Strategies that Support Black Deaf Students in College, which identified skills some Black deaf students use to navigate academic and social challenges, addressing implications for professional practices of educators. Recommendations are made for future research.

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