Guiding African-American Women Through the Doctoral Process

African Americans make up only about 6 percent of all doctorates awarded in the United States. About 60 percent of all African-American doctorates are earned by black women.

In 2001 Sisters of the Academy was founded to help African-American women successfully navigate the doctoral process.

The organization hosts what it calls a Research Boot Camp. This one-week program features established scholars who advise doctoral students on conducting literature reviews, research, methodology, and data analysis. In 2007, 25 women attended the boot camp. This coming summer three additional tracks will be added to accommodate 45 women in all.

The group also hosts a writing workshop that coaches students on writing projects including dissertations and the publication of scholarly articles. In 2008, 35 women attended the writing workshop.

Denise Davis-Maye, associate professor of sociology, anthropology and social work at Auburn University and current president of Sisters of the Academy, told JBHE that the group also is planning a seminar for June 2010 to help black women in the academy compete for research grants.