Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Gary Reglin

Committee Member

Jennifer Reeves

Committee Member

Sherry Bennett

Committee Member

Sarah Harris

Committee Member

Hollis Horton


Advanced Placement Program, African American Teachers, Critical Race Theory, High Schools, Own-Race Teacher


This dissertation was designed to provide positive perspectives regarding recruitment and retention practices in an urban school district. Recruiting and retaining African American teachers for Advanced Placement (AP) courses is a vital educational issue in the U. S. The number of African American teachers teaching AP courses was low.

A phenomenological research design guided the study’s investigation. The phenomenon in the investigation was the underrepresentation of African American instructors of AP courses. Zoom semi-structured interview data for 15 AP teachers were analyzed with a thematic analysis approach to answer six qualitative research questions.

The theoretical framework was the Critical Race Theory suggesting all students were entitled to equal educational opportunities. Finn and Scanlan (2020) reported educational barriers of African American students concerning access, equity, and entrance in AP programs had been a problem since Jim Crow. Additionally, Johnson and Larwin (2020) posited teachers, of the same color as the students and with similar background and experiences as adolescents, alleviated some of the barriers for these students.

For Research Question (RQ) 1 themes conveyed there were few African American preservice teachers in teacher education programs at many large predominantly Caucasian universities. These universities had few scholarship programs for African American preservice teachers. Themes for RQ 2 suggested there were no or little awareness of any district or high school plans to recruit African American AP teachers. Themes for RQ 3 indicated the AP programs in some high schools were not adequately supported by the district to acquire the necessary materials and resources. The analyzed data for RQ 4 revealed, as a preferred practice, African American AP teachers enjoyed the freedom to build their own curriculum as AP teachers, and this freedom was a rewarding retention incentive for them. African American AP teachers liked to teach the best and brightest of the urban students, especially academically talented students from poverty communities. This translated into a preferred practice. The analyzed data for RQ 5 suggested there were varied challenges with teaching AP courses. Some students did not possess the required prior level of knowledge to successfully complete some AP courses. There was difficulty motivating some students to maintain a high-quality AP level of work throughout the entire school term. Themes for RQ 6 indicated African American AP teachers were happy at the schools when these teachers perceived their students possessed enhanced self-efficacy in passing AP examinations.