Leadership Dissertations

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    The Role of Leadership in Implementing Social–Emotional Learning in the Online Classroom: A Qualitative Study
    (2023) Mulvihill, Emily
    Implementing social–emotional learning (SEL) at K–12 online schools is critical for the growth of students. The purpose of the basic qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of online K–12 teachers to understand the leadership support needed for teachers who are implementing SEL curricula under transformational leadership and whole-child frameworks. Limited research has addressed the impact of school leadership and the implementation of SEL in an online environment. Purposeful sampling was used to locate 15 K–12 online teachers in the United States as participants for the basic qualitative study. Participants were asked to respond to a questionnaire and questions about the school’s SEL implementation practices and support for implementation practices by leadership. A follow-up five-member focus group was conducted to gather more insight into the results from the questionnaire. The experience of leadership support with SEL and the impact of a principal’s leadership style on SEL implementation was examined. Data was collected and analyzed manually for thematic patterns. Leadership, communication, professional development and training, and success emerged as the themes from the data. The themes indicated a need for teacher support in SEL implementation through communication and professional development and training. School leaders should have a transformational leadership style to implement SEL effectively in online classrooms. Keywords: K–12, online learning, social–emotional learning, transformational leadership
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    A Basic Qualitative Research Study: Educators’ perception of Parental Involvement and Student Achievement
    (2023) Coote, Kadian Owniee
    Each year educators call on parents to be involved in their children’s schooling; they believe students of involved parents do better academically. The problem was restricted parental involvement in school-sponsored activities, such as parent-teacher meetings, communications, and conferences at the secondary grade level, impacts students’ academic performance. Researchers have measured teachers’ perceptions of parental participation, but little research has focused on Title 1 rural high schools with primarily African American pupils. This study may help to fill the literature gap. Using Epstein’s parental participation frameworks and transformational leadership theories, the purpose of this basic qualitative research study was to explore educators’ perceptions of how the extent of parental involvement relates to the degree of secondary students’ academic achievement at a high school in Eastern North Carolina. Twenty-five educators participated in the research based on their engagement with students and parents. Interviews were conducted and recorded for thematic analysis and reporting. Data were analyzed using Creswell’s six-step process for examining qualitative data and were supported using the MAXQDA data analysis software. Results revealed that secondary educators believed parental involvement is vital to students’ academic achievement; parent-teacher collaboration increases student progress, and administrators emphasize parents being advocates for their children. However, more investigation on the obstacles to parental involvement at Title 1 public high schools with mostly African American pupils is needed. Keywords: academic achievement, academic socialization, cultural competency, culturally and linguistically diverse, Epstein’s framework, family engagement, parental involvement, perception, socioeconomic status, socio-psychological barrier, Title 1, and transformational leadership theory
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    The Impact of COVID-19 on Government Employee Engagement: A Phenomenological Study
    (2023) Uzogara, Kenneth I.
    The COVID-19 pandemic touched the world on an unprecedented scale, producing worldwide disruptions socially, economically, and culturally creating engagement challenges for federal employees. The problem is COVID-19 has impacted the engagement levels of government employees. This research is important as it promotes awareness of COVID-19 and employee engagement. The purpose of the phenomenological qualitative study was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the engagement levels of government employees. Gaps exist in the literature on employee engagement and COVID-19. This research filled gaps in the literature on COVID-19 and employee engagement to support new research and informed decision-making. The theoretical foundation included Kahn’s theory of employee engagement, which supported a design to find shared meanings in participants’ lived experiences with COVID-19’s impact on government employee engagement. The research questions assessed COVID-19’s impact on engagement levels for government employees, perceptions of government employees on their workplace interactions, and meanings government employees assign to COVID-19 pandemic challenges. The study used a transcendental phenomenological qualitative methodology and research design. Fifteen federal government employee volunteers from the Washington DC area who served in government during COVID-19 were selected for this research. Data from volunteers were collected through semi-structured interviews and open-ended questionnaires for analysis using Braun and Clark’s reflexive thematic analysis model. The finding led to three emergent themes on social connections, confidence, and leadership. Findings filled gaps in the literature on the impact of COVID-19 on the engagement level of government employees. Keywords: COVID-19, employee engagement, pandemic, federal government employees, coronavirus, phenomenology
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    Teachers and Principals’ Perspectives on Behavior Supports for Special Education Students: A Qualitative Case Study
    (2023-10-26) Lundy, Helen Marie
    Special education teachers have faced increased pressure for students to achieve, make learning gains, and achieve individual education program (IEP) goals. Teachers face increased disruptions due to student misbehavior during instruction. The problem was classroom behaviors are becoming more frequently disruptive, particularly among special education students (Demchak et al., 2020). Teachers of special education students with behavioral challenges must professionally engage in best practices to engage students and have them succeed. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to determine if applied behavior analysis (ABA) strategies improve IEP goal attainment, particularly concerning students with autism. Studies showed a gap in the literature about educators’ perceptions regarding ABA and student IEP goal attainment. The guiding research questions included gathering teachers’ perceptions of ABA and best practices. Transformational leadership and operant conditioning comprised the theoretical framework. A qualitative case study was used to investigate the problem statement. A sample size of 15 participants was recruited to represent special education teachers and administrators in a southwest Florida school district. Questionnaires and semistructured interviews were conducted. Data were analyzed and coded for themes. Four themes emerged: (a) ABA is exceedingly beneficial to student attainment of IEP goals, (b) ABA has some negative implications, (c) positive reinforcement, and (d) the use of visuals. Findings revealed opportunities for leaders to provide further training for teachers, set expectations for ABA staff, and revise school board policy as it relates to behavior strategies. Keywords: applied behavior analysis, behavior analytic strategies, individual education program, operant conditioning, punishment, reinforcement, self-contained classroom, transformational leadership theory
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    Well-Being of Leaders, Teachers, and Parents During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic: A Basic Qualitative Study
    (2022-08) Schragenheim, Karen
    The Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic impacted educational systems globally. To prevent the spread of the virus, governments worldwide instituted stay-at-home mandates. Living rooms transformed into the hub of homelife activity, serving as classrooms, workspaces, and recreational activities for the family. The problem this basic qualitative study explored was how the shift to remote learning affected the well-being of teachers, parents, and front-line school leaders. Few studies have examined the effect of a disaster on educational community members or explored school leaders' response to a crisis. The research study provided knowledge to fill the gap. Crisis leadership theories and Maslow's hierarchy of needs served as the theoretical framework. The study explored experiences and feelings of well-being during New York Pause and any factors having positive or negative effects. Using snowball and emergent sampling, 18 participants (six teachers, parents, and front-line school leaders) were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. Data were collected from interviews and observational notes. Participants’ statements were then analyzed using thematic coding both manually and using MAXQDA software. Member checking, bracketing, and data triangulation were used to increase the data's reliability, credibility, and validity. Results indicated participants experienced fear, anxiety, and other emotions negatively affecting their sense of well-being. Participants believed communication was essential to creating feelings of positive well-being, while a lack of communication and planning was the cause of a negative impact.
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    Motivators of African American Secondary Teachers in Public Education: A Qualitative Study
    (2023) Foster, Delisa N.
    African American teachers experience obstacles and barriers impacting academic achievement and employment opportunities. The ongoing problem addressed in this study was the low representation of African American teachers in public education compared to increasingly diverse student demographics. Employment metrics from 2017-2018 school year reflected that African American teachers comprised less than 10% of the public education teaching workforce, whereas White teachers comprised nearly 80%. Such disparity may exacerbate racial mismatch between teachers and students. A gap in the literature existed regarding the experiences of African American teachers in public education at the secondary level. The research entailed a qualitative case study using the lens of transformational leadership and racial identity theories to gather information about motivations, workforce obstacles, and influential personal educational experiences. The purpose of the qualitative case study was to identify motivating factors and personal experiences that encourage African American teachers to work in the public education system and obstacles faced while working in public education. Purposive and snowball sampling methods were used to recruit participants. Data were collected through questionnaires and one-on-one interviews from African American secondary teachers. A step-by-step evidence-based model was used, and data were manually analyzed. Research findings included information about participants’ educational experiences, workforce experiences, and challenges. Results highlighted participants’ various experiences leading them to the education workforce, including overcoming obstacles and speaking favorably of people who supported them. Recommendations include topics of future research, examining hiring practices, and assessing students’ education experiences.
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    The Onboarding Experiences of Adjunct Faculty Who Teach Online: A Basic Qualitative Study
    (2023) Walker, Deidre
    Scholars in higher education have been researching to better understand adjunct faculty instructor experiences. One of the foci is the onboarding experience of adjunct faculty, as there are concerns about whether faculty are onboarded, given that adjunct faculty make up a sizable portion of the teaching population at higher-education institutions. The problem stemmed from an insufficient understanding of the onboarding experience of online adjunct faculty. The problem was a lack of understanding of the onboarding experience of adjunct faculty who teach online. The onboarding experiences of adjunct faculty who teach online are understudied, especially concerning impact and topics covered. Greenleaf’s servant leadership theory and Knowles’ andragogy theory complemented this study and comprised the theoretical framework. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore the onboarding experiences of adjunct faculty who teach online. The significance of the study is the numerous potential benefits afforded to higher-education institutions and adjunct faculty when using the data to revise processes or learn about theories and resources. The research topics examined what adjunct faculty experienced, what they learned from onboarding, and how well they were prepared to teach college-level students. A 6-step thematic analysis technique was used to examine the online questionnaire from 15 adjunct faculty hired in the past 2 years to teach online at a higher-education institution. Engagement, policies, practical applications, processes, resources, systems, and teaching skills were themes in adjunct faculty onboarding reports that prepared them for online teaching.
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    Academic Quality Using Bloom’s Taxonomy in Biology: A Quantitative Correlational Study
    (2022) Ramakrishnan, Sujatha
    Abstract The area of interest considered for the study was the overall academic achievement in biology lecture and laboratory courses using Bloom’s Taxonomy. The problem of the study is the lack of higher-order thinking skills leading to a learning gap in many universities and colleges. The purpose of the quantitative correlational study was to determine if there is a statistically significant relationship between the biology lecture examination question answers (correct or incorrect), a dichotomous variable, based on Bloom’s Taxonomy, and the matching laboratory assessment grade, a continuous variable, received by 51 students in a community college in northern New Jersey. The framework for this study was created by combining descriptive theory, meta-theory, and Bloom’s Taxonomy. The key research questions included the relationship between lecture assessments and laboratory assessment grades of students in General Biology I. Archival data and a Point Biserial Correlation was used for data analysis. The key results include two significant relationships and one non-significant relationship between the lecture assessment questions and the laboratory assessment grades. The main conclusion portrays how the knowledge/comprehension question has no relationship with the laboratory assessment grade and the application/analysis and synthesis/evaluation questions have a relationship with the laboratory assessment grades. Instructional faculty can benefit from the study and implications include improving the academic outcomes of students at the basic and advanced levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
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    Embracing Servant Leadership While Teaching Writing to Adult English Learners: A Case Study
    (2023-08-31) Vassileva, Iliyana V.
    Adult learners' English proficiency and communication abilities are crucial for obtaining specialized jobs in highly competitive labor markets. Fulfilling the specific needs of adult English language learners (ELLs) defined the gap in the literature and suggested additional theoretical analysis and research. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate adult educators' perceptions of embracing servant leadership while teaching academic writing in two adult education centers in Western Florida in the spring of 2023. The problem was that adult educators hesitated to adopt the servant leadership approach to advance adult ELLs' academic writing competitiveness for the workforce. Two theories of transformative learning and servant leadership guided this qualitative study. Themes for servant leadership and the use of technology for teaching academic writing answered the first research question. Adult ELL educators' perspectives on writing strategies were identified through the lens of leadership while fostering a sense of belonging, which answered the second research question. The themes were coded using the triangulation technique through NVivo, using researcher-written questions for interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires. The qualitative research method was used in a case study design. A sample size of 15 adult educators was selected by inclusion criteria for instructing advanced ELL learners from a total population of 65 educators. Study findings confirmed that adult ELL educators viewed themselves as leaders as they provided high-quality instruction and feedback in a diverse cultural environment. Recommendations for further research included flipped classroom implementation for ELLs’ workforce readiness using advanced technology, empowering adult educators, and professional development with administrative support.
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    Virtual Learning in Elementary School: A Quantitative Study Examining Growth and Achievement Compared With In-Person Learning
    (2023-09-01) Harrison, Charles
    Virtual learning has gained traction in K–12 education following the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem is there is limited data evidence on student achievement and growth scores of Georgia students in virtual learning compared to in-person learning. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine differences in the achievement and growth scores of virtual students on standardized assessments compared to peers completing in-person learning. Much of the research conducted at the elementary level lacks comparative results due to differences in test type and curriculum. A large percentage of virtual schools serving elementary students are charter schools and do not report to the state for credibility. John Dewey’s experiential learning theory and John Hattie’s visible learning theory guided the research. The study took place in a suburban public school district in northwestern Georgia and included data gathered from a minimum of 330 students in Grades 3-5. The study examined differences in achievement on the Reading Inventory (RI), Math Inventory (MI), and the Georgia Milestones assessments, and students’ growth scores on the Reading and Math Inventories. The hypothesis states there are no statistical differences between the reading and math achievement and growth scores on each assessment. The study utilized a split-group quasi-experimental design allowing non-random criteria, the learning environment, to be compared. Data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test and SPSS software to compare math and reading achievement scores and growth scores between learning environments. The null hypothesis was rejected for all tests run comparing student achievement in growth between both learning environments. Districts should consider additional data as they determine the long-term benefits of virtual learning.
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    Inquiry Into K12 Threat Assessment Team Members’ Perceptions to Drive School Safety Decision Making: A Qualitative Study
    (2023-08-31) Gustinger, Karen
    School safety is a primary societal concern due to catastrophic incidences of violence and educational leaders have a duty to ensure children’s security. School shootings spotlight failures in school safety but educators and scholars cannot use tragedy to bridge the gap in high-efficacy practice. The problem is that school safety needs to improve and there is limited availability of high-efficacy decision-making resources for K12 educational leaders to use in school safety decision-making. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore Threat Assessment Team (TAT) members’ perceptions of the threat assessment (TA) process to increase the available decision-making resources. Findings from this research may help to globally inform educational leaders. The theoretical framework of this study was composed of the theory of self-efficacy and situational leadership theory (SLT) as a basis for how leaders can guide self-efficacy in school safety competencies. Research questions guided data collection of Florida K12 TAT members’ perceptions of school safety processes and resources. The target population was approximately 23,100 Florida K12 TAT members, the sample was 16 purposefully chosen K12 TAT members, and a validated data collection instrument was implemented. Through extensive thematic analysis, trends developed including resource and process efficacy dependence on implementation fidelity, a culture of safety, the individual stakeholder mindset, and reliant on high-level compliance from all stakeholders. Recommendations for educational leaders are to use this information to guide professional development to target stakeholders’ attitudes and behaviors in efforts to maximize the impact of school safety resources and processes.
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    A Phenomenological Exploration of Non-academic Services Offered Through the Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
    (2023-07-28) Cassells-White, Michelle
    Community colleges have a long history of providing entrance to higher education to minority students who enroll in these institutions underprepared and deprived of basic needs. With limited resources, community college leaders are expected to assist students in academic pursuits. The Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (Center for EDI) was developed using a transformational leadership approach to help address students' holistic needs at a small urban community college in Connecticut. The problem was despite the provision of non-academic support services in post-secondary education, much was not known about the benefits of the services through the experiences of the students, and in some cases, services were under-utilized. The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experiences of urban community college students on the use of non-academic services offered by the Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the overall influence of services on retention. Transformational leadership theory directed the study. Research questions focused on the experiences of students using non-academic services at the Center for EDI and the non-academic support services influence on student retention. The qualitative phenomenological study consisted of 17 participants who were identified by means of criterion sampling. A field-tested semi-structured interview instrument was used for data collection. Interviews were administered through Zoom online platform. Peoples’ six steps flow chart was employed to conduct the data analysis. The compelling accounts presented by participants engendered four major themes. Findings revealed non-academic support services influenced semester-to-semester retention. Further inquiry should be conducted to corroborate the findings.
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    Qualitative Action Research: Integrating Transformational Leadership within a Traditional Chinese International Department
    (2023-07) Anderson, Derek
    International schools aim to provide students with a multicultural experience, equipping students with a global-minded education to succeed in future higher educational or professional careers abroad. For students to succeed in international schools, native and international staff members should have a well-rounded knowledge of professional attributes from Eastern and Western cultures. The purpose of the qualitative study using action research was to explore teachers' knowledge, perceptions, and adaptability toward integrating elements of transformational leadership within a current paternalistic leadership style at a high school international department in Southern China. The problem was the uncertainty regarding the knowledge, application, or comfort level of Chinese staff members in implementing transformational leadership, as employees are accustomed to a hierarchical leadership approach, limiting collaborative and creative abilities. The study consisted of semi-structured interviews with eight native and eight international teachers from the international department. A data analysis spiral was used to facilitate the analysis process in locating, creating, explaining themes, developing interpretations, and creating a visual representation of the acquired data. The interview data was used to facilitate implementation involving issues and concerns using transformational leadership. The results displayed positive results with Chinese and international teachers in collaborative and communicative practices for locating organizational improvement. The study recommends ensuring Chinese leaders provide encouragement and motivation throughout transformational leadership practices to empower teachers with self-confidence and assurance of involvement within a shared decision-making environment. Keywords: transformational leadership, paternalistic leadership, international schools, China, Chinese education
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    Causal-Comparative Study of the Effect of Per-Pupil Spending on Achievement by Florida Algebra Students
    (2023) Sears, John J.
    Higher levels of student achievement are required to meet the needs of a changing workforce. The effect increases in education spending have on student learning gains among algebra students in Florida was unknown. Most research on per-pupil funding and student achievement is qualitative and measures opinions on the long-term effects of increased funding. The purpose of this quantitative study was to expand the scope of the literature and determine whether there was a statistically significant relationship between per-pupil funding and student achievement. This study was based on the theory of motivation and social learning theory. The data showed a statistically significant relationship between per-pupil funding and student achievement. A causal-comparative design evaluated the differences in performance between higher- and lower-funded students on the Florida Algebra 1 End of Course exam. The scores of 197,523 students were used to measure student achievement. Data from the Florida Department of Education provided funding information for counties in Florida. Data were analyzed in Excel for statistical significance. The study’s findings showed a statistically significant difference exists between higher and lower-funded students on Florida Algebra I EOC exams. The results suggest that educational leaders should closely examine where per-pupil funding can be spent to achieve the best results for student achievement. Educational leaders can use this information to improve student achievement.Josh Keywords: Florida Algebra 1 End of Course Exam, per-pupil funding, quantitative, social learning theory, student achievement, theory of motivation
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    A Qualitative Study of Language as a Factor in Hispanic Worker Injuries
    (2023-08-04) Thompson, Ryland
    Construction workplaces are dynamic with many hazards exposing workers to injuries. Hispanics and non-Hispanics are employed in the industry, but Hispanics sustain higher injury rates. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences and perceptions of construction managers in South Florida concerning the possible influence of language and culture on injuries to Hispanic construction workers. A literature review revealed sparse inquiry into management's perception of the influence of language and culture on Hispanic construction worker injuries. The lack of research provided an opportunity for inquiry into the lived experiences of construction managers in fulfilling leadership obligations for worker safety. Social justice and transactional leadership provided the underpinning theoretical framework. Research questions focused on the perceptions and experiences of construction managers. A phenomenological design using semi-structured interview questions was used to capture data from 16 construction managers with Hispanic employees, in the Tri-Counties of Florida. Data were subjected to thematic analysis and four themes emerged: (a) employee culture of limited safety regulations, (b) importance of communication to worker safety, (c) importance of safety training to injury prevention, and (d) no compromise of employee safety for production. Results revealed agreement on the influence of Hispanic culture on employee workplace practices and the need to communicate safety information in a language they can understand. A key recommendation was to train management on the cultural factors influencing the safety practices of Hispanic workers. Keywords: construction, culture and language, leadership, management, Hispanic
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    Teachers’ Perception of English Language Learner Students’ Academic Abilities: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study
    (2023) Ullmann, Julia
    The population of students labeled English language learners (ELLs) is steadily rising in every state. ELLs continue to underperform their non-ELL peers in assessed academic areas. The problem is that teachers view ELLs from a deficit-based perspective rather than focusing on their assets. The purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the factors affecting teachers’ perspectives and attitudes toward English language learners. Gaps in the literature showed that little is known about the factors affecting teachers’ perceptions and attitudes toward ELLs. Mindset theory by Dweck and pygmalion theory by Rosenthal and Jacobson provided a framework for understanding teachers’ perceptions of ELLs. The research questions that guided the study were: how do teachers’ perceptions of ELLs affect classroom instruction; what are teachers’ perceptions of ELLs; how do participants describe their cultural and academic experiences in the context of ELL education. The qualitative phenomenological study involved 15 mainstream teachers from public high schools in the Central Florida school district. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect the data. Interview transcripts were analyzed and coded into themes. Key findings revealed that teachers view ELLs as deficient in academic and language skills, have stereotypes about ELLs’ backgrounds and skills, are attentive to the students’ needs, and utilize various resources to support classroom instructions. The priority for student learning and success was reflected in every interview. The study results can guide district hiring, staff development practices, and teacher support procedures.
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    An Exploratory Case Study on Professional Development, Self-Efficacy and Educational Change
    (2023-12-05) Martinez, Alice
    Professional development is widely used in schools at all levels to provide teachers with the necessary skills to deliver relevant and effective instruction, to increase student achievement, and drive educational change both in classrooms and in schools overall. The problem is that professional development inadequately addresses the knowledge practice gap that exists between teacher participation in professional development, teacher self-efficacy, student learning, and educational change. This is a problem that can be explored through a study. Thirty to thirty-five K-12 teachers participated in a focus group and responded to a teacher self-efficacy questionnaire. The data collected was used to identify patterns about teachers’ professional development experiences, perspectives, and attitudes about the impact on instruction, educational change, and student achievement. The case study was grounded in Bandura’s Theory of Self-Efficacy and Burns’ Transformational Leadership Theory to support the premise that effective professional development considers the tenants of teacher self-efficacy and transformational leadership to bring about positive changes in instructional practice, student achievement, and educational change.
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    Executive Coaching for School Principals: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study
    (2023) Dennis, Dominique
    Traditional professional development models for principals focused on managerial tasks are presented in isolated, task-driven episodes. Today’s principals lead complex and challenging high-accountability environments along with playing an expanded role of instructional leadership for boosting student achievement. The problem is school principals are not adequately prepared for leadership positions through graduate programs alone. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the experiences of school principals who work with executive coaches. A study on the impact of executive coaching on principal professional development and school success was conducted using the lived experiences of principals who have worked with executive coaches. This phenomenological research design used a semi- structured interview protocol to answer three major research questions to explore the experiences and perceptions of principals who have worked with an executive coach. This study identified the conditions principals need from coaches to improve leadership skills for school improvement and career growth. Data were collected and analyzed for common themes reflecting the experiences of the participants. The dominant themes of this study include building trust through supportive relationships and developing professional practice through collaborative learning. Findings of this research may illustrate the impact of executive coaching for school leaders on effective leadership in schools, shifting from performing tasks to leading for improvement. Further research can be conducted to identify best practice coaching models for principals as well as implications for school districts who build coaching models into professional development opportunities for principals.
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    A Phenomenological Study of Leadership Competencies in Nonprofit Higher Education
    (2022-07-28) Zary, Patrizia S.
    Leadership skills are vital in developing and building influential leaders in organizations. The identified research problem was the absence of communication, collaboration, and strategic agility competencies among leaders in nonprofit higher education institutions in the United States. The purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study was to explore how collaboration, communication, and strategic agility competencies were experienced among leaders at a nonprofit higher education institution in the United States. Transformational and servant leadership theories formed the theoretical framework examining characteristics, behaviors, and features promoting positive leadership. Two research questions guided the study to explore the shortfall of communication, collaboration, and strategic agility competencies and assess how the competencies improved leadership performance. Twenty-one participants were chosen from three leadership levels: entry, middle, and executive. Instruments used for the study entailed an online questionnaire soliciting participation and a semistructured interview conducted virtually via Zoom. The data were analyzed using an open inductive coding process and sorted by comment scope, code, and participant. Findings revealed themes related to better talent conversation, further leadership development, and further investigation of the understanding of strategic agility skills.
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    Faculty Perceptions of Inclusive Excellence Professional Development: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study
    (2021-05) Pickett, Audra
    Professional development (PD) is an experience educators share. School leaders approach PD opportunities based on individual and organizational needs. The problem is some faculty feel challenged with the implementation of inclusive excellence (IE) PD. Understanding why faculty feel challenged with IE PD is important because faculty receptiveness of IE PD impacts the work culture and student success. A gap in the literature exists between transformational leadership theory, adult learning theory, PD, and IE in higher education. The purpose of the qualitative phenomenological study was to explore faculty members’ experiences throughout a college’s IE PD and implementation phases. The theoretical frameworks that supported the research problem include transformational leadership theory and adult learning theory. Faculty shared experiences participating in IE PD. The impact administrators had on the implementation of IE PD was analyzed. Other variables that impacted faculty experiences throughout the IE PD were explored. The research population consisted of 110 full-time faculty at a college. Six faculty members who participated in the college’s IE PD were interviewed. An audit trail comprising transcripts, field notes, and a reflexive narrative contributed to data collection. Data analysis included epoche, coding transcripts, and thick description. Results indicated faculty’s experiences with IE PD, the administrator impact, and other PD variables as positive. Transformational leaders who use adult learning theory principles and PD best practices can create successful IE PD opportunities for faculty.