Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Longerbeam, Susan D.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hirschy, Amy

Committee Member

Hirschy, Amy

Committee Member

Rivers, Ishwanzya

Committee Member

Washington, Ahmad

Author's Keywords

otherparenting; student affairs; critical race theory; sense of belonging


This phenomenological study examined the importance of otherparenting performed by Black student affairs professionals at a predominantly White research-intensive institution in the mid-South. Otherparenting is a U.S. tradition that has West African roots in chattel slavery. Otherparenting is defined as those that assist blood mothers and fathers by sharing parenting responsibilities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven participants across various functional units at the institution. The examination illustrated the commitment Black staff have in assisting Black students through the college campus rife with structural barriers, while also accounting for the level of taxation the commitment to otherparenting places on Black student services professionals. The study concludes with recommendations to campus administrators, specifically Senior Student Affairs Officers, to acknowledge and support the work of otherparents on campus.