Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Dr. J. Scott Self

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dr. Bryan Patterson

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dr. Erika Pinter


This phenomenological study explored the narrative shared in individualized education planning meetings for young black men with learning disabilities who are transitioning from high school. The individualized education plan (IEP) process, essential in addressing the specific educational needs of children with learning disabilities, can be particularly challenging for Black parents, as evidenced by recent data. This study was designed to shed light on the intricate dynamics of the IEP process and the unique challenges faced by parents. The study aimed to provide insight into various aspects of their experiences through interviews designed with open-ended questions and detailed analysis of the data collected. Admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) meeting experience which explores the range of experiences parents have during ARD meetings, from feelings of inclusion and being heard to experiences of being marginalized. The study revealed parents' varying levels of understanding regarding the specialized language used in the IEP process. The study also identified the demographic makeup of ARD meetings, particularly the presence of Black individuals, which is crucial for understanding the inclusivity of these meetings. During IEP meetings, parents frequently feel overwhelmed by the rapid and complex nature of IEP meetings, leading to confusion and a sense that these sessions are just formalities without substantial dialogue. A major issue for parents is feeling unheard in IEP meetings. There is a crucial need for more inclusivity, ensuring students’ and parents' perspectives are recognized and integrated into their children's education plans. Parents often experience a mix of emotions when dealing with their child's IEP. These emotions range from apprehension and frustration. Recognizing parents' emotional responses is vital in IEP meetings. Their confusion and frustration must be acknowledged and addressed through open communication. This enhances the meeting experience, ensuring parents feel heard and understood in the process. Train teachers to build relationships with special education students. Implement mentoring programs for young black men in special education. Educate parents on their rights before ARD meetings. Ensure student and parent involvement in meetings and goal setting. Develop clear postsecondary transition plans. The study aimed to provide a factual account of parents' experiences but also seeks to offer a platform for their voices to be heard and understood. By delving into these aspects, I hope to contribute to a more inclusive and empathetic approach in the education system, particularly in the context of special education and the IEP process.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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