Date of Award

Fall 11-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Roger "Mitch" Nasser Jr.

Second Advisor

Dr. Carrie Schwierjohn

Third Advisor

Dr. Qiana B. Smith


Research indicated the transition from eighth grade into ninth grade can be a difficult time for students. His Grace High School (HGHS) ninth grade students illustrated this difficulty. The purpose of this study was to examine African American student and parent perceptions regarding the transition process into high school. Currently, all students and parents at HGHS participate in a two-part orientation session to prepare and acclimate to the new school community and learning environments. Orientation sessions are facilitated by predominately African American staff members; however, the premise of the session was developed and implemented by Caucasian staff and faculty. Furthermore, the manner in which the information is developed and shared with the African American students and parents does not consider or address the cultural needs of African American parents and students. Critical Race Theory, CRT, was used to measure inequality in education. According to Hiraldo (1994) scholars have used CRT as a framework to analyze and critique educational research and practices. Critical Race Theory attempts to address the cultural needs and disparities of minority students when compared to students of the dominant race. The research questions provided additional information about the transition process and how the administration, faculty, staff, and school community can develop and implement a transition program that will assist both students and parents transitioning into HGHS. A qualitative analysis of the current transition process was conducted. Current freshmen students and parents completed surveys and participated in interviews about their experience with the transition process at HGHS. iii The results of this study facilitated the development of a transition program that meets the needs of African American students, parents, and community partners. Full development of the program will be a direct result of the information shared by the students and their parents who participated in the study. Finally, this study will positively contribute to the climate of HGHS and will assist with creating a positive culture for African American students, families, and community members.


Copyright 2017