Special Education M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Strand, Charles


Disproportionality in special education representation has been a commonly used focus of study for many years. The most frequently researched topic is the overrepresentation of black and brown, usually male, students in Emotional, Behavioral, and Social special education designations. Based on the experiences of this researcher, a void existed in the research showing the reasons why some minority groups were underrepresented in specific special education categories. This research sought out to explore what the research demonstrates are factors in the underrepresentation of minority students in specific special education designations. Data nation-wide shows that roughly seventeen percent of students in public education receive special education services. It is pertinent to the field, as well as this researcher's professional development, to understand the reasons that students can be under-, over-, and mis-represented. The research focuses on three factors that were established during the review of literature: student and parent perceptions, teacher perceptions, testing, as well as other causes linked to underrepresentation that were found in the review of literature.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis