First Advisor

Micki M. Caskey

Term of Graduation

Spring 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction




Minorities -- Education, Minority high school students, Minority students, Alternative schools, High schools, Dropouts, Phenomenology



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 143 pages)


Public schools in Oregon have been struggling to include students of color and teachers of color for so long. Students of color represent more than one third of the school population, yet remain underserved, underrepresented, and over disciplined. Most of their teachers and support staff are White; the teachers of color represent less than 8% of the teaching staff. The students of color attend comprehensive high schools that generally ignore them--or push them out. Some students of color end up in alternative schools.

My problem of practice was the oppression of students of color in urban schools. Specifically, my research problem focused on their experiences in an alternative high school. The purpose of my study was to describe and explain the perceptions of students of color about their experiences in that alternative high school. Using a critical race framework and phenomenological inquiry, I conducted nine interviews with three students of color who consented to a three-interview series in one month. Data analysis led to the identification of four themes: learning in an alternative school; welcoming and accommodating environment; lived experiences in alternative school, and absence of dominant discourse. My findings aligned with the tenets of critical race theory as they show that students of color were not welcome in the education system; they also reflected the findings evident in the research literature. My study revealed that schools should not focus on contents only, but should also use content to teach for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier