Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Sydney Brown


The underrepresentation of women and women of color in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is of little surprise to those of us who have kept abreast of the statistical data supporting this phenomenon. In order for the United States (U.S.) to remain “economically and globally competitive” (Ong, 2011, p. 32), it needs to increase its “advanced domestic science and technology workforce” (Ong, 2011, p.32). Perhaps, it is not a coincidence that the majority of students attending U.S. colleges are female, and the number of minority students entering college is on the rise. However, when one looks at the number of women of color entering college and the number of whom are pursuing a STEM degree, there is a significant decrease. Furthermore, the pipeline is even narrower for women pursuing computer science (CS) degrees. This exploratory qualitative study was focused on one historically Black university located in the southeast region of the U.S. This study utilized a grounded theory qualitative inquiry approach to identify practices and strategies utilized by the historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) to effectively recruit and retain undergraduate African-American women in its CS program. The findings suggest the importance of K-12 experiences, supportive relationships among students and faculty, industry partnerships, and relevant and challenging experiences.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License