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Yakaboski, Tamara

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Through the transformative research paradigm, the critical race feminism theoretical framework and based on Bridges’ (1980) transition theory, the author explored the experiences of 20 Black women in entry-, mid-, and senior-level higher education administrative positions with a professional transition and/ or promotion to a predominately and historically White institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study highlighted the experiences of 20 Black women higher education administrators who shared their experiences through two virtual interviews and created visual maps to explore their journey working in higher education in the United States. The study used portraiture to focus on four aspects of their transition: (a) experiences with transitioning into new management roles, (b) developing personal and professional support systems, (c) developing a sense of safety, and (d) understanding their feelings of empowerment in their roles. The findings suggested four themes for interviews and three themes for visual maps. The interview themes were (a) professions may stumble into the higher education field or intentionally plan their careers as higher education administrators; (b) there is a lack of connection to their campuses communities during the pandemic because of the lack of in-person community development, (c) entry- and mid-level professionals were concerned about job security, whereas senior-level professionals were concerned about their physical sense of safety; and (d) senior-level administrators felt more empowered in their roles than entry-level and mid-level professionals. The visual mapping themes were (a) career decisions were rationalized over emotions, (b) reflection on past career showed negativity and depression, and (c) reflection on future career showed hopefulness and potential.


Black women; Bridges transition theory; Coronavirus pandemic; higher education; promotion; transition


228 pages

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