Preferred Name

Nicole Jones

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Deborah Kipps-Vaughan



One of the most concerning aspects of special education is the overrepresentation of African American minority youth receiving special education services. Samuel Ortiz and colleagues considered the issue of the representation of the Latino, English Language Learner (ELL) population in special education services based on cognitive performance in relation to the mainstream population. To target this concern they determined an estimated level of expected cognitive performance of ELL’s and impact of language and cultural differences to help eligibility teams more appropriately interpret and place students with the aid of the Culture-Language Interpretive Matrix (C-LIM) model they developed. The current study seeks to analyze the cognitive performance and/or the culture-language impact among African American students referred for special education services, compared to their Euro American counterparts, using the C-LIM model developed by Ortiz and colleagues. Conclusions from this study may help professionals in the field of school psychology understand the degree to which language and cultural differences may or may not impact the cognitive performance of African American students in terms of normative expectations.