Date of Conferral







Jason Stroman


The problem for this study addressed the lack of community advocate perspectives related to efforts being made to improve bureaucratic representation for minority students who were underserved by gifted programs in Florida. The purpose of the study was to investigate the perceptions of community advocates about efforts to improve bureaucratic representation for students underserved by gifted programs in Florida. The study was conceptually framed around Kingsley’s theory of representative bureaucracy. The research questions focused on community advocates’ perceptions related to diversity in Florida’s public school gifted programs and their current efforts to improve representation of minority students in gifted education programs. A basic qualitative design was used to capture the insights of 12 community advocates from Florida with experience advocating for underrepresented individuals through semistructured interviews; a purposeful sampling process was used to select the participants. Emergent themes were identified through open coding, and the findings were developed and checked for trustworthiness through member checking, rich descriptions, and researcher reflexivity. The findings revealed a need for improved advocacy for underserved students, shared knowledge and collaboration, and reflections on potential bureaucratic barriers hindering progress toward equity. Recommendations include future research involving community advocates and greater use of the theory of representative bureaucracy in public education. The study has implications for positive social change by shedding new light on equity gaps in gifted education programs and how to address those gaps for the benefit of all students.