Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Deron Boyles, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Richard D. Lakes, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Joyce E. King, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Chara Bohan, Ph.D.


With the help of federal and state legislation, starting with the Clinton administration, the Advanced Placement (AP) program is used as an education reform to fight “intergenerational poverty.”The program is also promoted as an instructional tool, helping lower-socioeconomic and students of color access post-secondary institutions. The assumption is that if students from these groups have access to AP courses, they will have a better chance of attending and completing college. The assumption infers that access to post-secondary education helps break the cycle of poverty. This dissertation explores minority students’ and their teachers’ experiences with AP access and equity in AP expansion. Using a metasynthesis of qualitative studies, this dissertation documents insights into students’ and teachers’ AP experiences, while highlighting several contextual factors influencing educational equity in urban schools.


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