Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Open Access Dissertation
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Education (also CAGS)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
Gretchen B. Rossman
Benita J. Barnes
Success in the doctoral context has traditionally been measured by persistence. However, solely equating doctoral persistence with success overlooks salient academic experiences that may address how to assist different students in successfully negotiating and navigating the emotionally complex and complicated terrain of graduate school (Gardner, 2009). Sense of Belonging provides an expanded lens through which to view student success in the doctoral context. This qualitative study explores Black/African American women doctoral student’s perceptions of their Sense of Belonging and how it impacts their academic experience during the dissertation phase. A narrative approach using semi structured interviews was used. Data collection involved a one-phase semi-structured interview protocol, supplemented with journal memos and participant portraits. Findings demonstrate that Sense of Belonging as experienced by these doctoral students is complex and often impacted by multiple layers of the institution including the discipline, department, lab, cohort and faculty advisor; each one of these are increasingly more salient for students during the dissertation phase. The need for doctoral programs to create a more engaging and nurturing environment which is inclusive of diverse and traditionally underrepresented students remains a priority
Durand, Sabrina, "BEYOND ACCESS: SENSE OF BELONGING OF BLACK/AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN WRITING TO COMPLETE THE Ph.D" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. 1234.
Available for download on Saturday, May 11, 2019