Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela H. Scott

Committee Members

Eric S. Glover, Lori Meier, Virginia P. Foley


This study addressed the academic, cultural, and social expectations and experiences of 20 Black students at 2 predominantly White high schools in the Southern Appalachian region of the United States. The participants' experiences revealed how institutional practices promoted or obstructed their successful experiences at high school.

Qualitative ethnographic methodology guided the study. The data collected included the stories of the Black students based on individual interviews, focus groups, and document reviews. The data showed the positive and negative experiences of the Black students in predominantly White high schools and the negative impacts of racism and racist behaviors on Black students' experiences at their high schools.

Findings indicate a difference between the students' academic, cultural, and social expectations and experiences. Many of these differences in expectations and actual experiences were caused by the racist experiences of the Black students. Social networks were shown to contribute to the students' need for a place of safety. Recommendations based on the results of the study are provided for school administration, teachers, and other staff members.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.