Career and Education Planning as Experienced by Young Black Women in West Texas



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This qualitative study investigated how young Black women experience career and education planning. Community leaders and young Black women in West Texas participated in semi-structured interviews during data collection. The young women also participated in structured interviews using the Career Exploration and Decision-Making Learning Experiences scale based on Social Cognitive Career Theory’s Career Self-Management model. The themes from the data provide youth educators, mentors, parents, and career guidance professionals with a contextualized understanding of career and education planning as experienced by the young Black women in this study. These findings amplify the voices of young Black women in a way that is not attainable when relying exclusively on quantitative research methods. Scholars, educators, counselors, individuals, and families can gain exposure to this phenomenon by experiencing it through the realities of these young women as a precursor to re-examining the career and education planning services and support provided to young Black women. Reporting on these experiences can inform approaches to equipping Black women for productive career and education planning as they transition into adulthood. Additionally, the research methodology provides a model for future studies designed to explore the experiences of other marginalized people groups.



career exploration, social agents, career self-management model, career planning, adaptive career behavior, qualitative research, social support, education planning, emerging adulthood, social barriers, Black women, social cognitive career theory