School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Gail Collins


dropout, hierarchy of needs, Lumbee American Indian, Native American, special education, students with disabilities


Curriculum and Instruction | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to explore what schools can do to retain Lumbee Indian students with disabilities through high school to graduation. The theory guiding this phenomenological study was Maslow’s theory of human motivation. It relates to the motivation to satisfy a series of basic needs before individuals can meet their full potential. There were 12 special education teacher participants in this study who serve Lumbee Indian students. Data were collected through participant interviews, open letters, and focus groups. Data were analyzed thematically using the Van Kaam methodology. Five major themes emerged from the analyzed data. These are as follows: meeting basic needs, psychological needs, barriers, early career planning and exploration, and relationships. The implications from this study included revising IDEA, training educators, and providing funding for schools serving Native American communities to incorporate Native American perspectives and histories into the curriculum and provide opportunities for students to engage with their cultural heritage and traditions. It is recommended that a future study regarding the Lumbee Indian students with disabilities should use a mixed methods or case study approach to study the unique experiences of Lumbee Indian students with disabilities.