The Lived Experiences of Black Master-Level Graduate Students Enrolled in Predominately White Counseling Programs in Texas: A Transcendental Phenomenological Approach
Carper, Shandelyn Treshay
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The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experiences of Black master-level graduate students enrolled in predominately White counseling programs in Texas. Historically, Black Americans have been denied access to a quality education. The impacts of these intergenerational traumas are present today, in society and in academia. College campuses are representative of the disenfranchised American society. The counseling field is ethically responsible for promoting and implementing diverse and inclusive environments. A transcendental, phenomenological method was utilized in the qualitative research approach examining the experiences of Black graduate students. An eight question, semi-structured interview was implemented with eight participants enrolled in predominately White counseling programs in Texas. Participants’ responses were examined and analyzed utilizing Moustakas’ (1994) modified Van Kaam’s (1959, 1966) method of data analysis. The seven themes that emerged were: (a) racism, (b) multiculturalism, (c) race-related classroom challenges, (d) the Black Unicorn syndrome, (e) belonging within the Black community, (f) coping, and (g) worrying about the future of the counseling profession. The findings of this research study may provide counselors and counselor educators relevant perspectives of the experiences of Black, master-level graduate students enrolled in predominantly White counseling programs.