Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Charol Shakeshaft, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Whitney Newcomb, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

David Naff, Ph.D.


In response to the national problem of overrepresentation of Latinx students in general education classes, this study addresses Latinx access to Advanced Placement (AP) coursework, enrollment, and completion patterns in Virginia, a growing destination state for many Latinx families and students. Through a secondary data analysis of both the Civil Rights Data Collection (2015-6) and College Board data (2016), this quantitative study mapped patterns of disproportionality in AP access, enrollment, and completion for Latinx students, who comprise 13% of enrollment in Virginia public high schools. In addition, a case study of two diverse school districts provides evidence of segregation and unequal access to AP, as well as disproportionality in Latinx enrollment and completion. Although greater AP course availability was found in suburban schools, where most Latinx students in Virginia were enrolled, findings document disproportionality in AP enrollment for STEM and nonSTEM coursework for Latinx students, and disproportionality in AP completion in terms of passing the exam.

Finally, the case study of two Virginia school districts revealed disparate experiences for Latinx students. Within the school districts, there were varied levels of segregation and disproportionality in AP access, enrollment, and completion for Latinx students, despite being in diverse, well-resourced school districts. Latinx students experienced the greatest degree of underenrollment in AP compared to Asian, Black, and White students in both school districts. Such findings demonstrate the need for more research in regard to AP access, enrollment and completion for underserved students, especially in regard to school setting and segregation.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission