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Exploring Burnout Phenomena Through the Perceptions of One Urban University’s Former College Access Professionals

Peacock, Tasha N. (2023) Exploring Burnout Phenomena Through the Perceptions of One Urban University’s Former College Access Professionals. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study aims to understand and explore the lived experiences of six college access practitioners who supported a pathway program for students at an urban research institution. None of the participants in the study no longer work in college access. At least four participants explicitly stated they left their job due to burnout. This research approach was grounded in phenomenological hermeneutics within a philosophical tradition. Utilizing this methodology aids in fully understanding the phenomenon. More directly, this method renders the essence of the phenomenon with a textual representation. Throughout the study, Black women, who work at higher education institutions, occupy institutional spaces that were not created to support how they exist and thrive as Black women. Through their intersectional identities, they assist, persist, and resist the institutional shackles left untouched by the institutional practices of diversity and inclusion. This study deconstructs how racial and gender identities played a significant role in leading to symptoms of burnout in the workplace. I served as both the researcher and the participant in this study. Through my voice and the participants' voices, I want to bring awareness to the systematic oppression of women, particularly Black women who cited multiple inequities in their job responsibilities while supporting predominately Black students in the college access pathway program. The notion of racial capitalism is the process of deriving social and economic value from the racial identity of another person is a longstanding, common, and deeply problematic practice. This study highlights how institutions use non-white people to acquire social and economic value. The theory of racial capitalism has serious negative consequences both for individuals and for society as a whole. Racial capitalism relies upon and reinforces the commodification of racial identity, thereby degrading that identity by reducing it to another thing to be bought and sold. This also fosters racial resentment by causing non-white people to feel used or exploited by white people. Lastly, this study supports the need for continuing research on burnout and emotional exhaustion of practitioners in college access, emphasizing the role of Black women.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Peacock, Tasha N.tnf7@pitt.edutnf7
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairDancy II, T.
Committee CoChairDelale-O’Connor,
Committee MemberOsai, Esohe
Committee MemberWright, Lauren
Date: 7 July 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 May 2023
Approval Date: 7 July 2023
Submission Date: 7 June 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 98
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Burnout, Student Affairs, College Access Practitioner, Black Women, Higher Education, Inequities, Collective advocacy, students, white, and Maslach
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2023 15:53
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 15:53


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