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 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 of advising doctoral students of color. Ultimately, the goal of this work is 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 the dissertation processes of doctoral students of color.


doctoral students of color, ABD, persistence, cultrually relevant advising, autoethnography

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.


Rasmussen, N. D., DeSantiago-Fjelstad, B., Bell-Duncan, C. (2022). Advising for persistence: Faculty women of color reflect on equitable practices for doctoral student program completion. The International Journal of Equity and Social Justice in Higher Education, 1, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.56816/2771-1803.1005



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