Term of Award

Winter 2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Devon Jensen

Committee Member 1

Kymberly Harris

Committee Member 2

Lucy Green


Over the past decade, research has been devoted to bridging the gap in academics and opportunity among African-American males. Missing from the dialogue however, are the voices of African-American female leaders. This voice will not only play an instrumental part in mediating cultural misunderstandings that occur in the classroom, but it will also facilitate a much needed conversation in understanding gender and race by displaying different views on educational leadership. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of the opportunity gap among African-American female principals in Title I schools to raise the presence of their voice in this educational discussion. As the opportunity gap is an issue that has a global impact, this research can be transferred to various contexts in the educational setting. The findings that emerged from this study can assist both rural and Title I school districts in reevaluating existing educational programs or aid in designing new initiatives to improve outcomes for low-performing African-American males. Moreover, this data can support school districts in developing the cultural competence of teachers and staff through professional development and culturally sensitive pedagogy.