Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Measurement and Research

Major Professor

Kathy Bradley-Klug, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jose Castillo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deirdre Cobb-Roberts, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


higher education, minorities, school psychology, systemic oppression


This study aimed to critique the racial status quo of a school psychology graduate training program by gaining the perspectives of former and current racially minoritized students from the program. Additionally, this study aimed to utilize this information to provide implications for how to dismantle the racist and oppressive structures within the school psychology program. This study also aimed to analyze the success of research recommendations in helping racially minoritized students defeat the systemic barriers to completing a school psychology program. I conducted one-hour, semi-structured interviews of eight school psychology graduate racially minoritized students from the school psychology program. I used a critical paradigm and critical race theory to understand the student’s racialized experiences. I used constant comparison analysis and analytic memos to derive themes. I found the selected school psychology program maintained structural racism through three major themes: 1) maintaining racist hierarchical structures, 2) liberal ideologies that maintain inequities, and 3) research-based interest convergence. The participants in this study also described various forms of emotional distress as their response to the structural racism they experienced. Although the program acted in a number of ways to maintain structural racism, the program did act in anti-racist/anti-oppressive ways through faculty and peer support. Implications for social justice research and practice for school psychology programs are discussed.