DISSERTATION PROPOSAL ANNOUNCEMENT Ed.D. Program: “Understanding the Classroom Experiences of Black First Generation College Students Using the Strengths Perspective: A Student and Instructor View”
Black first-generation college students (FGCS) often encounter distinct challenges in the collegiate classroom that include implicit racism, academic unpreparedness, and cultural shifts. This study explores how strengths philosophy, a social work framework that leverages inherent strengths to encourage agency and change, can enhance the self-efficacy of Black FGCS. Self-efficacy, the belief in one’s ability to achieve specific goals, is critical to academic success. This research examines whether strengths philosophy practices are present in the college classrooms of Black FGCS and whether instructors intentionally or unintentionally employ these practices. By analyzing the experiences of both students and instructors, this study aims to use an empowerment focus to better understand the academic experiences of Black FGCS. The findings can potentially transform college classrooms into environments that nurture the strengths and abilities of Black FGCS, fostering their self-efficacy and increasing their chances of success. This research is a vital step in addressing educational inequities that have historically affected Black collegiates, specifically those who identity as first generation.
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