Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education



First Advisor

Joel Amidon

Second Advisor

George S. McClellan

Third Advisor

Karen Davidson-Smith

Relational Format



Shifting our attention from the achievement gap (standardized test results) to the opportunity gap (unequal opportunities and experiences among students of differing socioeconomic and racial backgrounds) is necessary to shrink gaps in the American educational system. Although previous studies have focused on the achievement gap in terms of students’ success on standardized tests, there has been limited research on the missed opportunities experienced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) in high school mathematics classrooms. This qualitative study revealed the lived experiences of BIPOC students as participating in college and career mathematics readiness activities in a single high school in a southern state during the 2021-2022 school year. The researcher conducted 12 individual interviews in a reserved area in Hope High School. The participants were freshmen and sophomores whose ages ranged between 13- 16 years old. A seven-question instrument was used as guiding questions and each session was recorded via Zoom for transcription purposes. The researcher generated and analyzed data from student interviews as well as a reflection journal. Results of the study presented factors identified by BIPOC students as encouraging or hindering their participation in college and career mathematics readiness activities. Further, the study showed students’ relationships with their teachers, relationships with the content, and relationships with their peers significantly influenced their participation and success in college and career mathematics readiness activities.



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