Date of Completion


Embargo Period



GED, Critical Race Theory, counter-space, counter-narrative, intersectionality, oppressive schooling

Major Advisor

Erica Fernandez

Associate Advisor

Casey Cobb

Associate Advisor

Jennie Weiner

Associate Advisor

Sarah Woulfin

Associate Advisor

Michele Femc-Bagwell

Field of Study

Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)


Doctor of Education

Open Access

Campus Access


This narrative study examined what led two Students of Color to enroll in General Educational Development (GED) classes and how their race impacted their educational decisions. The study took place in an adult education facility located in central Connecticut in winter 2018. One research question guided this inquiry: What are the experiences of Students of Color that led them to seek their high schools diplomas through GED classes? This study used qualitative data collected from three one-on-one semi-structured interviews, field notes, and photographs to answer the research question through the lens of critical race theory (CRT). This research captured the voices and of Students of Color so policy makers and practitioners are aware of the need for adult education programs. Finally, this research contributes to the scholarship and discourse regarding the need for equitable funding streams for adult education students. Although this study was limited in duration and scope, the data supported the notion that past oppressive schooling experiences as well as various intersecting roles, including those of wife, mother, immigrant and/or person with health disabilities often acted as challenges to Students of Color in earning their diplomas. Positive teacher-student interactions positively impacted these individuals’ views of the GED program and help to build aspirations of post-secondary education. Based on these findings, recommendations for increased student-teacher interactions and student goal-setting for post-GED attainment are discussed and suggestions for areas of future research are included.