This paper presents part of the results of a completed study entitled A Longitudinal Study of Minority Ph.D.s from 1980-1990: Progress and Outcomes in Science and Engineering at the University of California during Graduate School and Professional Life. It focuses particularly on the graduate school experience and degree of preparation for the professoriate of African American doctoral students in the sciences and engineering, and presents the results of a survey of 33 African American STEM Ph.D.s from the University of California earned between 1980-1990.
Making doctoral education accessible and successful for students from low income, first generation families as well as members of immigrant or specific ethnic groups is a world- wide problem. In the US the traditional explanation for the low numbers of Ph.D. recipients from these groups are lack of preparation, lack of interest and a “leaky pipeline.” These alone are not enough to explain disparities. This article argues that the most powerful vehicles of exclusion are tacit knowledge and the implicit bias of faculty and is related to doctoral/faculty socialization.
Over the past fifteen years, new types of "professional practice" doctorates in fields ranging from nursing to bioethics have increased exponentially, from near zero to over 500 programs in at least a dozen fields in the U.S. today. This growth raises many policy questions. For example, do doctorate holders serve their clients and organizations more effectively? How do new credential requirements affect access to these professions? How are they shaping institutional missions, pressures, and resource allocation?