About Academy Noire

Academy Noire is a wellness coaching program that aims to improve the experience of matriculating through a doctoral program for those who identify with the Black cultural experience, ultimately leading to better retention rates, improved life satisfaction, decreased need for critical mental health services, and ultimately, higher graduation rates. This is a carefully curated, evidence-based, culturally responsive community of support. 

“Our students must be equipped to face the challenges inherent in any doctoral program. They must believe that they possess the resilience and fortitude to overcome them, as well as to thrive.”

What the research says...

  • McMillan and Chavis’ (1986) theory of psychological sense of community argues that a sense of belonging, mattering, and integration within a community is one of our most critical social needs. Further studies have demonstrated the impact of this fundamental need of persistence in higher education.

  • Negative perceptions of campus racial climate have been linked to a diminished sense of belonging and low integration to the campus community (e.g., Alonzo et al,. 2015; Johnson et al., 2007; Johnson, 2012; Strayhorn, 2015), higher rates of mental distress, and lack of persistence (e.g., Caldwell & Obasi, 2010; Johnson et al., 2007; Museus et al., 2008).

 

  • Academic programs that adopt culturally responsive mentoring and advising models with Black graduate students in particular, have resulted in student report of increased connectivity to the campus community, to being academically challenged, feeling supported in their academic pursuits, thriving, and persistence through degree completion (Alonzo et al,. 2015).  

 
 

College & University Membership

We offer an annual membership for colleges and universities that provides access to our community for doctoral students on your campus across all disciplines. Our simple and affordable pricing makes enrolling your institution practical for an administrator at any level. Your membership includes:

College Campus

“I needed to share what it felt like to be the only Black woman in my building, in my classes, the cafeteria, parking lot, graduate lounge, lecture halls and countless other spaces where my Blackness froze in the icy waters of the ivory tower.”

  • 2 group wellness coaching sessions each month. Students gain access to our bi-weekly interactive coaching group led by our team of doctoral level mental health experts. 

  • Access to our extended network of Black mentors and advisors for professional development.  Students engage with special guest mentors and advisors who provide guidance and training on advancing careers across various industries. 

  • Daily interaction in a private online community. Students experience daily conversation prompts, inspirational messages and quotes, uplifting music and art, etc. all in a familial atmosphere of collegiality, accountability, joy, purpose, and encouragement. 

 

  • Ongoing network of collective capital. Real relationships form in our private community of soon-to-be doctors where they'll be encouraged to network, share their goals, and build genuine relationships with doctoral students from across the country representing various disciplines. 

  • High touch approach. We intentionally keep coaching group sizes small and intimate. Your students will work with a coach who knows their name, who will truly invest in getting to know them, encourage them to care for their wellbeing, and push them to dream bigger and live bolder.

 

  • Partnership in executing a sustainable wellness program that centers Black Mental Health. The Black Girl Doctor is committed to elevating Black mental health and helping professionals align with their highest value. We operate from a strengths based approach that is research based and data driven. We empower institutions to cultivate sustainable investments in Black mental health so they are able to actualize an optimal learning culture for communities of color, with the understanding that this in turn, equips institutions to reach their fullest potential. 

  • Marketing support, tech support, and evaluative data. We offer full program management that includes the development of marketing and promotional material for you to disseminate formatted for email, social media, and print. We provide tech support and respond to all student inquiries. We use our own survey tools to measure utilization, self-report satisfaction, and overall effectiveness of our community at meeting wellbeing outcomes. We deliver quarterly summaries of the assessment data.

What Topics are Discussed?

Coaching topics cover mental health and wellbeing, professional development and skill building, and mentorship and networking. Specific themes for each week are customized based on the needs of the enrolled students, but past topics have included: 

Exploring doctoral student life at the intersection of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other social identities

Navigating the barriers to getting your STEM grant funded

Eliminating self-limiting beliefs so students can stop playing small, reach higher, and go further

Preparing for the professoriate

Beyond the tenure track: exploring career options outside of academia for the Social Sciences  

Navigating racism in a supposedly anti-racist environment

Dealing with rejection, failure, and imposter syndrome 

Navigating microaggressions or a hostile campus environments

Finding work-life balance in the midst of a culture that glorifies toxic productivity and hustle mentality

Being the only or one of very few people who look like you in academia

Coping with stress and anxiety, and finding culturally competent therapists

Navigating cultural stereotypes and garnering respect as a professional student

Exploration of career paths, finding purpose, and clarifying values

Leveraging professional relationships and building thriving networks of mentors, sponsors, and collaborators

Achieving personal goals related to money, love, and happiness

Getting recognized and setting yourself apart in the Humanities 

How to Enroll Your Students

We are excited to begin our long-term partnership that centers Black mental health and wellbeing for doctoral students. Getting started is easy as pie!

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Submit an inquiry to request custom pricing.

We'll respond with additional details and a membership quote. Our simple pricing model is based on campus size. 

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Schedule a call to discuss the details or opt to sign up immediately via electronic invoice.

Our team is available to answer your questions and talk through the details of becoming a campus vendor. Alternatively, you can sign up immediately by paying your membership fee online by credit card. 

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Promote the service! 

As soon as your invoice is paid, your students can enroll and start benefitting from the community. You will receive an onboarding kit that includes promotional material for email, website, and social media so you can spread the word.