Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Jami Royal Berry

Abstract

In its annual Advanced Placement Report to the Nation, the College Board highlights increasing the participation rates of minorities in AP classes. Despite this emphasis, Blacks continue to be the most underrepresented students in AP courses. The research on the reasons for this underrepresentation from the perspective of Black students is limited. The purpose of this study is to determine to what extent, if any, peers, teachers or school influences the enrollment practices of Blacks in AP. Chapter 1 examines the history of AP and Black students, as well as existing literature with respect to peer pressure, teacher expectations and school practices. Using qualitative research, chapter 2 asks Black students to describe their experiences with AP as related to their peers, teachers, and school as influences on their AP course enrollment through Invitational Theory to determine if the environment is intentionally inviting them to enroll in these courses. The findings suggest that the students’ interest in the course, parental influence, and eventual college selection were the dominant influences in enrollment decisions. Their experiences can provide insight on academic choices and actions. This study may have implications for the recruitment of Black students in AP.

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