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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Antonio Serna

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Kellie Cain

Third Committee Member

Cindy First


Participation of minority parents in the Special Education IEP process continues to be a concern for public school administrators. With the disproportionality of African American males placed in special education and the mandatory involvement requirement in the IEP process, administrators and schools would benefit by understanding the obstacles that prevent the meaningful participation of parents/guardians of African American high school males in the special education IEP process. The purpose of this qualitative study was to analyze the obstacles faced by parents/guardians of African American males, grades 9-12, in the special education Individual Education Plan (IEP) process. This study involved interviewing ten parents/guardians of African American males receiving special education services, attending high schools in Contra Costa and Alameda counties in California. The results found the following themes that prevented the parents/guardians from meaningful participation in the IEP process: (1) Communication between home and school, (2) Knowledge of special education, (3) Parental rights and involvement in the IEP process, and (4) Attitudes of teachers. The strategies there were recommended to increase parental involvement were: (1) Engagement in active listening to parents and guardians at IEP meetings, (2) Changing of IEP meetings to work with parents' work schedules. (3) Improve overall communication with parents and guardians, and (4) Provide special education training for parents and guardians to teach them special education terminology and jargon. Lastly, the study provided various recommendations for further study.





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