Date of Award
Doctor of Education in School Leadership
Teaching & Educational Leadership
College of Education and Health
Dr. John Freeman
Second Committee Member
Dr. Steve Bounds
Third Committee Member
Dr. Charity Smith
Dr. John Freeman
Dean of Graduate College
Dr. Sarah Gordon
The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the lived experiences of African American female Superintendents in the State of Arkansas. One of the major educational issues is the limited number of African American female superintendents in the USA and the state of Arkansas, in particular. African American women venturing into the superintendency are hindered in their goals by their double minority status as women and African Americans (Wiley et al., 2017). A qualitative, narrative research lens was used in this study to capture the individual career advancement of African American female Superintendents in the State of Arkansas. Data collection centered on personal, one-on-one interviews with African American female Superintendents in the State of Arkansas. The primary and guiding research questions for this study were focused on the women backgrounds, experiences, and educational paths that led to their superintendent position. A series of common themes emerged from the interviews and produced a clear understanding of the path the female superintendents traveled to assume the most important decision-making role in their respective school districts. Key themes which emerged were leadership ability, leadership desire, and mentorship. Participants indicated they had developed a keen sense of self-efficacy, which led to broader goals and career advancements. In future research, it is important to analyze opportunities women have which help shape, encourage, and support other African American women moving into the role of Superintendent in the State of Arkansas.
Keywords: Superintendent, African American, women, female, leadership, and Arkansas
Goodwin Myton, Debra Denise, "A Phenomenological Examination of the Lived Experiences of African American Female Superintendents in the State of Arkansas" (2023). ATU Theses and Dissertations 2021 - Present. 43.