Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Education: Curriculum and Teaching

First Advisor

Elissa F. Brown

Second Advisor

Bonnie Keilty

Third Advisor

Jennifer Tuten

Academic Program Adviser

Marshall George


Black and Latino K-12 students are largely underrepresented and underperform on standardized assessments in gifted programs compared to their White and Asian peers. The reasons for these differences in recruitment and retention of Black and Latino K-12 students have been attributed to a culturally biased admissions process and the lack of a culturally responsive curriculum framework for students of color. Nevertheless, a small minority of Black and Latino students are successful in K-12 gifted programs. Yet, little is understood about the factors that account for their success and the degree to which families are involved in their child’s success. Using Tara Yosso’s community cultural wealth framework as a theoretical lens, this mixed-methods study examined how families navigate and overcome these institutional barriers inherent in gifted programs, and which forms of Yosso’s (2005) framework were employed. The results of this study revealed that aspirational capital was the strongest form of capital leveraged across ethnicities/races. However, Black parents employed resistant capital at higher levels than White families. Additionally, single-family households and larger family sizes displayed higher levels of community cultural wealth than two-parent households or smaller sized families. The qualitative results from semistructured interviews expanded on these findings and revealed that Black and Latino parents’ critical consciousness, strategic planning, and act of cultivating strong networks equipped them with the knowledge to navigate the admissions process for their child’s gifted program and empowered them to leverage their community cultural wealth to support their child to persist in a gifted program.



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