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

Date of Graduation

Summer 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Ashton Trice

Patricia Warner

Tammy Gilligan


As the demographics of the United States continue to change rapidly, school psychologists will continue to play a role in meeting the needs of racially and ethnically diverse students. One major concern is the overrepresentation of certain ethnic minority groups (e.g., Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American) in special education, dropout rates, and school discipline and the underrepresentation of those same groups in gifted education programs. The purpose of the current study was to find what factors may be contributing to the academic success of gifted Black/African American students. The researcher conducted one on one interviews with nine Black/African American high school students who were identified as gifted in elementary school. The researcher asked questions about the participants’ early and current school experiences, experiences while enrolled in the gifted program, and personal and environmental factors that contributed to their success. The participants’ responses were transcribed and coded for common themes. The results suggested that students in the study were high achieving, had a lot of parental and teacher support, had hardworking parents and other adults in their homes, had a strong desire to go to college, and had a number of personality characteristics that contributed to their success. Implications for practice include school psychologists playing a role in fostering a school atmosphere that creates success for Black/African American students.

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