Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

McIntyre, John


An ABSTRACT of the DISSERTATION of: Stephen C. Foggatt, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction, presented on November 3, 2017, at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois. TITLE: The Pernicious Prophecy of Diminished Academic Expectations MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. D. John McIntyre This study examines the relationship between academic expectations and achievement, particularly as it concerns minority students. I have often been troubled by the narrative surrounding the academic potential of minority students in America, and my research is intended to broaden the discussion of this issue by presenting a chronicle of thoughts collected from individuals who have actually lived this experience and achieved tremendous academic success. To that end, I gathered qualitative data from six minority undergraduate students at Yale University. Through a series of questions administered via surveys, interviews, and group discussions, I accumulated a large amount of in-depth background information on the participants related to their lifelong learning experiences. These students identified the factors most responsible for their remarkable academic performance, along with the stumbling blocks encountered along the way, offering profound insight relative to the impact of racial dynamics on academia and our overall society. Based on a thorough categorization and analysis of the prevalent themes that emerged throughout the research process, I am offering numerous recommendations that I feel will be useful to students, teachers, and parents as part of an ongoing effort to maximize the effectiveness of the learning process for students of all ethnicities in classrooms across America. It is my sincere hope that by sharing these compelling stories, the prevailing perspective on this matter might be altered to some degree, helping to establish an impetus for real change to our country’s educational system.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.