Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Steve P. Wells


Disproportionately lower numbers of African- and Hispanic-American high school students are enrolled in advanced placement (AP) courses in U.S. high schools. Thus, the purpose of this exploratory case study was to explore the administrative practices that may expand enrollment of African- and Hispanic-American students in high school AP courses. The conceptual framework of the study was based on Bandura's social cognitive theory and its 4 elements: affective processes, motivational processes, selection processes, and cognitive learning. Research questions were designed to examine the perspectives of administrators about the disproportional enrollment of African- and Hispanic-American students in AP courses and administrative practices that may support proportional representation of these students. Semistructured interviews were used to collect data from 10 administrators from 2 high schools in the same school district. Data analysis involved open, axial, and a priori coding. The findings indicated that administrators agreed on the need to reevaluate prerequisites for AP courses that may create unintentional obstacles to enrollment of Hispanic- and African-American students. Additionally, administrative support for the counselors to provide academic advising may improve access for Hispanic- and African-American students. This study contributes to positive social change by creating a deeper understanding of how administrative practices can improve African- and Hispanic-American enrollment in high school AP courses.