Date of Award



© 2019 Anita Samuels-Watkins

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

William Boozang

Second Advisor

Jennifer Galipeau

Third Advisor

Atiya K. Sample


Many researchers have studied how Black educators serve as role models for Black students and affect students’ academics and emotionality. Currently, a shortage of U.S. Black educators has prompted many state legislatures to create initiatives to increase the number of Black educators in school systems. In the State of Connecticut, legislators implemented initiatives in 2012 and 2015 to increase the number of minority (Black and Hispanic) school teachers and administrators. To date, these initiatives have not been successful. In fact, approximately 270 Black educators certified between 2013 and 2017 had not found employment in public schools in 2018. The researcher conducted a qualitative study to explore the perceptions and lived experiences of certified Black educators seeking employment in Connecticut’s public school system. The researcher sought a better understanding of the barriers and opportunities these educators encountered throughout the hiring process. Data for this study were collected from semistructured interviews of Black certified educators in Connecticut who experienced the hiring process since the passage of legislation seven years ago. The researcher found all participants perceived racial discrimination and unconscious bias when applying for positions. The personal stories of participants represented their various challenges, which included many application submissions, few interviews, and even fewer hires. In addition, participants seeking administrator opportunities found the path toward job attainment more difficult than did those pursuing teaching positions. Because the State has expressed the need for more Black certified educators, and Black certified educators are finding it difficult to get hired, a better understanding of possible motives is needed. The findings show that Connecticut’s State Department of Education should monitor human resource departments and hiring practices at the local and district levels.


Ed.D. Dissertation