Advising For Persistence: Faculty Women of Color Reflect on Equitable Practices for Doctoral Student Program Completion


In the United States, doctoral students of color do not complete their programs at the same rate as White doctoral students. The coursework is not usually the issue. The common point of the delay is almost always the time spent at all but the dissertation (ABD). This autoethnographic study is of three university faculty––all women of color––their experiences navigating their individual doctoral programs and ABD statuses, and how they now parlay those experiences into culturally constructing how they advise their doctoral students of color to persist until completion. The review of literature is woven among their stories to bring forth a collection of emergent themes and discussion points to reconsider best practices for advising doctoral students of color. Ultimately, this work aims to equip departments to better recruit, retain, and serve doctoral students in general and to enhance the skill set and cultural competency of faculty advising, particularly in the dissertation processes of doctoral students of color.


Beatriz De Santiago Fjelstad
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota, United States

Natalie Rasmussen
Chair, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota, United States


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Learning in Higher Education


Students Of Color, All But Dissertation, Persistence, Culturally Relevant Advising

Digital Media


Advising for Persistence (pptx)