Date of Conferral





Counselor Education and Supervision


Dr. Gregory Hickman


Historically, biases, a lack of cultural diversity in teacher and administrative staff and misunderstanding about methods for teaching low socioeconomic students have related to the underperformance of African-American students when compared with their European American peers. Therefore, this quantitative, cross-sectional study was conducted to explore the impact of teachers' ethnicity, years of experience, and motives of hope and fear on the academic success of African-American students in reading and math. Data were collected from 55 7th- and 8th-grade teachers from a charter school system (25 reading teachers and 30 math teachers) using a survey and the Multi Motive Grid. Forward regression analysis was used to test predictive values of independent variables to the academic success of African-American students in reading and math. Results indicated that teacher fear was a significant predictor for reading scores and teacher ethnicity was significant for math scores. This study can lead to social change by improving school programs, increasing student success with better teacher selection, and increasing teacher and student relationships through personality trait training by school counselors to teachers and administrators. By defining characteristics of effective teachers, school counselors and administrative staff can hire, evaluate, and train teachers who can further address academic gaps, particularly among middle school African-American students.