Central Appalachia is a region that is suffering from poverty and low economic opportunity. This greatly affects the young people and provides a strong incentive for the region’s brightest and best to abandon the area. Gifted students are an important part of the population and are often pushed to the side and ignored because of the constraints of the region. Gifted students in Appalachia have a broad set of needs that go beyond those of many other gifted students, including the need to navigate the poverty of the area, students being misidentified, and put under pressure to conform to the pre-established gender roles, and pervasive encouragement for outward migration. A more universal definition of Gifted Education and the practices for it is a start to improving conditions for these students. It is important to the region that teachers maintain a more positive outlook and encourage gifted students to return to the region, rather than running away from Appalachia.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2020


Richard Day

Mentor Department Affiliation

Curriculum and Instruction

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Biological Sciences