Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services



Committee Director

Shuntay Z. Tarver

Committee Member

Felecia Commodore

Committee Member

Judith Wambui Preston

Committee Member

Bianca R. Augustine


Although ample research investigates students’ belongingness experiences in counselor education (CE) programs, existing literature only marginally explores the realities of Black master students, and there is a notable lack of empirical attention to Black doctoral students’ belongingness experiences in counselor education and supervision (CES) programs. Investigating Black CES doctoral students' belongingness experiences at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) is critical to understanding how the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) accredited CES programs can address the troubling statistic that Black doctoral students are least likely to become full-time CE faculty. Consequently, this study utilizes critical phenomenology from a critical race theory perspective to explore how Black CES doctoral students experience institutional belongingness through interactions with institutional agents (i.e., faculty, peers, administrators, and staff). Thematic findings suggest that institutional agents significantly influence Black CES doctoral students’ navigation through their program environments, sense of institutional belongingness, and future career pathways. Black CES doctoral students’ experiences illustrated the pervasive nature of racism and how it impacted their lived embodied experiences at PWIs. The discussion of findings offers a broadened awareness and understanding of unique social and cultural challenges that impede Black CES doctoral students from experiencing institutional belongingness. Implications for counselor educators (CE faculty), CES programs, and the governing body of CACREP are presented to increase diversity and adhere to the commitment to fostering multiculturalism and social justice within the counseling education field and academia.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).