Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Katherine C. Mansfield


This study extends the limited, existing research on Sunnydale Public School’s (SPS’s) SOAR program. For clarity, SOAR is a talent development (TD) program that aims to not only enhance students’ reasoning and problem-solving abilities but also to remedy the racial/ethnic disproportionality of SPS's gifted and talented program. More specifically, I used interpretive, qualitative methods for this investigation to understand participants’ perceptions of SOAR, in hopes of adding to the talent development knowledge base and informing SOAR policy and practice. Ultimately, participant views converged on several topics (i.e. racial and ethnic disproportionality, brain malleability, multiple intelligences, etc.) and diverged on others (i.e. SOAR’s value). Taking interview and focus group data, SPS documents, past researchers’ findings, my own experiences, and existing literature into account, I arrived at and offer several commendations and recommendations that might benefit SPS’s SOAR program and might be considered alongside other research by districts of similar contexts looking to adopt or improve a TD program.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission