• The experiences of African-born women faculty and administrators at colleges and universities in the United States

      Afoaku, Oyibo
      ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to document the experiences of African-born women faculty and administrators at colleges and universities in the United States. The study explored the factors that motivated African-born women to immigrate to and extend their stay in the United States beyond completion of their education; factors they perceive as constraint on their quest for self-empowerment and identity as foreign students, college instructors, and/or administrators, and parents; and factors that have enabled them to adapt to their host culture and achieve their educational and professional goals even though they had to contend with multiple challenges associated with living in America as Black women. Eight women who are currently or previously serving as faculty or administrators were interviewed for this study. Participants were originally from Benin, Cameroun, Congo, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Six of them were faculty and three were administrators. Ten themes emerged from the study: family-centered cultural orientation, multicultural perspectives, dealing with transition and culture shock, preservation of cultural heritage, American higher education culture, American higher education structure, American higher education curriculum, American higher education policy, limited leadership opportunity for African-born women, and alumni loyalty. The participants expressed reservations about the status quo and want to see significant improvement in diversity policy and practices on their respective campuses that will yield substantive outcomes for all stake holders, including foreign students, foreign-born faculty and administrators. The study concluded by recommending inclusive dialogue and communication, comprehensive policy process; broad leadership structure, and wide-ranging mentoring programs as steps that can enhance the experiences of African born faculty and administrators at colleges and universities in the United States.