Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Marguerite Yates

Second Advisor

Michael Richardson

Third Advisor

Christopher Garretson


The purpose of this study was to explore the barriers faced by nontraditional Black female students at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). There was an extensive amount of literature regarding barriers faced by nontraditional students; however, there was a limited amount of research and literature on the perceptions of nontraditional Black female students and faculty perceptions regarding these barriers. The study was conducted at a HBCU in the southern part of the United States. Participants in the study included five HBCU faculty and five nontraditional Black female students. In this qualitative descriptive case study, focus groups, surveys, and faculty interviews were used to collect data on perceived barriers faced by nontraditional Black female students at a HBCU. The survey, which included open-ended and closed-ended questions; a focus group, where participants were asked open-ended questions to obtain personal experiences of the barriers encountered; and faculty interviews revealed perceived barriers. The barriers identified were the following: situational barriers, institutional barriers, and financial barriers. These findings regarding nontraditional Black female students' perceptions of barriers faced at HBCUs were also found in other research studies in the literature. This study concluded that faculty’s perceptions and nontraditional Black female students’ perceptions on the barriers that nontraditional Black female students faced at an HBCU were similar. The research indicated that faculty are aware of the barriers that nontraditional Black female students face and want to assist with preventing these barriers from happening or having a negative impact on these students.