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School Improvement Dissertations

We believe that it is important to disseminate the work of our students. To that end, we have listed below our students' completed dissertation studies.



Cohort 11

Hargrett, Teresa W.  Middle School Teacher Collaboration and Student Achievement  Advisor:  Dr. Dianne Hoff



Cohort 10

Short, Lynne R. Investigation of the Effects of a Response to Intervention Process on Elementary-Aged Students’ Mathematical Achievement: A Case Study Advisor: Dr. Dianne Hoff

Skinner, Lynn The Relationship of Traditional and Block Scheduling to High School Mathematics Achievement Advisor: Dr. Andy Nixon

Cohort 9

Harrell, Jennifer Comparing Credit Recovery Among Special Education and General Education High School Students Participating in the E2020 Program Advisor: Dr. Craig Mertler

Hooper, Joann Perceptions of Teachers in Albermarle County (VA) Public Schools on the Five Dimensions of Professional Learning Communities Advisor: Dr. Craig Mertler

Hoover, Jania Content Analysis of the Integration of African Topics into World History Curricula in Georgia Advisor: Dr. Donna Harkins

Kelly, Isaac High School Co-Teachers' Definitions and Perceptions of Successful Co-Teaching: A Study in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas Advisor: Dr. Craig Mertler

Reuss, Timothy An Investigation of Teachers' Attitudes of Grade Recovery Programs at the Middle School Level Advisor: Dr. Craig Mertler

Shaw, Robert Georgia Public High School Principals' Understanding of FERPA Advisor: Dr. Dianne Hoff

Waller, John The Effects of a State Book Distribution Program on Literacy Outcomes of Preschoolers Advisor: Dr. Tamra Ogletree

Watson, Melanie An After-School tutoring program and its effects on the academic achievement of homeless students Advisor: Dr. Craig Mertler

Cohort 8

Broadway, Shuanta Elementary Teacher Perceptions of Response to Intervention (RTI) Intervention Implementation Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Coleman, Daphne A Study of the Common Characteristics in the Planning of Mathematics Lessons by Effective Teachers of Students in Poverty Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Dowdy, Kim Technology Integration in Technology Rich Schools: Is it Low Tech or High Tech? Advisor: Dr. Abbot Packard

Doyal, Tracy Teachers' Perceptions of the Understanding of and Engagement in Formative Classroom Assessment Advisor: Dr. Abbot Packard

Harrison, Jamie Mainstream Teachers' Implicit Beliefs about English Language Learners Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Hayes, Jennifer Collaborative Teams: A Study of Teacher Perceptions About Collaboration Advisor: Dr. Craig Mertler

Legagneur, Francis A Phenomenological study on turnaround leadership from the superintendent's level; Evidence in the state of Georgia Advisor: Dr. Mary Hooper

McCaffrey, Kathleen The Effect of a Character Education Program on the Perceptions of Young Adolescents Regarding Their School's Climate and Their Abilities to Internalize Loyalty and Perseverence Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

McCoy, Doug How do Pro-Social Features of Assessment Practice Manifest in a Teacher’s Assessment Practice and Affect Student Learning Behavior? Advisor: Dr. Craig Mertler

Ridley, Hal Brian Teacher Expectations of Economically Disadvantaged Rural Students among Highly Efficacious Teachers and Those with Low Levels of Teacher Efficacy Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Thompson, Kiley The Many Faces of Co-Teaching: How Does Co-Teaching Impact Students at Different Levels of Academic Functioning? Advisor: Dr. Craig Mertler

Wright, Margaretta Assessing Understanding of Central Office Staff Concerning How Student Mobility Affects Teaching and Learning Advisor: Dr. Myrna Gantner

Cohort 7

Baldwin, Rhonda Ann Graphic Organizer Impact: Educator Understanding and Use Linked to Student Achievement Advisor: Dr. Mary Hancock

Corley, Aaron EMIC and ETIC Perspectives of Male Elementary School Teachers: Understanding the Motivations, Experiences, and Challenges of Men Working in a Female-Dominated Context Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Johnson, Penny Principals' Perceptions of the Alternative Certification of Teacher Candidates in a Southeastern Suburban School System as Measured by their Attitudes and Hiring Practices Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Ruble, Michelle L. First-Year Teachers’ Perceptions of Their Mentoring Experiences: A Case Study Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Sankar, Lakshmi An Experimental Study Comparing the Effectiveness of Different Formats of Professional Learning on Teacher Collaboration in a Co-Teaching Class Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Shafer, Emmett The Effects of the Graduation Coach Initiative on the Graduation Rates in the State of Georgia Advisor: Dr. Abbot Packard

Simone, Dione An Exploration of the Relationship Between School Climate and Professional Staff's Perceptions of the Maturity of Professional Learning Communities in a Large Urban School System Undergoing High School Reform Advisor: Dr. Mary Hooper

Waddy, Naima Middle School Co-Teachers Perceptions of Co-Teaching Advisor: Dr. Tamra Ogletree

White, Donald The Effects of Goal Setting on Student Academic Performance in High School Science Advisor: Dr. Gail Marshall


Cohort 6

Biggins, Lenice Teacher Wellness: A Descriptive Study of Teacher Choice in Wellness Advisor: Dr. Jeff Johnson

Cribbs, Gail The Effect of Peer Coaching on the Practice of School Psychologists Advisor: Dr. Susan Boes

Henson, Kerri School Social Capital: An Analysis of the Impact of Student-Teacher Relationships on Students' Academic Successes and Failures Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Horn, Carolyn Stakeholder Perceptions of the Roles and Responsibilities of Middle School Curriculum Specialists Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Lacey-Bushell, Adrienne Perceptions of Middle School General Education Teachers on the Inclusive Education of Students with Emotional Disorders:  An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis   Advisor:  Dr. Andrew Nixon

Lusk, Christy An Investigation of the Relationship between the Student Support Team Process and Student Achievement Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Marsh, Nancy Critical Friends Group Facilitators' Use of Transparent Facilitation to Make Work Public Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Willaford, Sherrod An Examination of Lesson Preparation ad Delivery of Elementary Mathematics Instruction for English Language Learners Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Cohort 5

Houston, Lorilyn Student, Parent, and Teacher Perceptions of Transition to Middle and High School Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Isenberg, Mathew An Exploratory Study of Organizational Incongruence in Middle Schools Advisor: Dr. Mary Hooper

Kirby, Karen The Effects of Explicit Phonemic Awareness Instruction in the Kindergarten Classroom Advisor: Dr. Cathleen Doheny

Lasseter, Mary Ann Developing Individual and Collective Visions for Teachers: Establishing Systemic Commitment for School Improvement Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Mills-Biwott, Reagan Examining the Achievement of Alternatively Recommended Minority Students in Advanced Science Classes Advisor: Dr. Mary Angela Coleman

Phillips, Scott All-Girls Mathematics Classes in a Coeducational Setting Advisor: Dr. Myrna Gantner

Rouse, Jo Ann Facilitating Productive Teacher Collaboration Advisor: Dr. Marie Holbein

Verner, Jacqueline A Descriptive Study of Educator Job Satisfaction and Valued Communications Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Cohort 4

Bishop, Barbara The Purpose of Schooling for Georgia High Schools as Informed by Textual Analysis of Language used in School Mission Statements Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Evans, Georgia The Effectiveness of the Georgia Department of Education’s Coaching Academy on the School Level Instructional Coaches’ Knowledge and Application of Educational Research Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Gregaydis, Jason  Developing Teacher Collaboration and Collegiality Through a Professional Book Study  Advisor:  Dr. Abbot Packard

Johnson, Christie Identification, Exploration and Analysis of Conditions Existing Within the Gap Between Georgia Women Public School Administrators and the Superintendency Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Luck, Phillip Educators’ Perceptions of Referrals for Boys to the Student Support Team (SST) Advisor: Dr. Myrna Gantner

Sethna, Madhavi Understanding the support needs of Veteran Experienced Teachers from India in US Public Schools Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Smith, Vickie A Comparison of Counselor Functions in Georgia High Schools Identified as Achieving and not Achieving Adequate Yearly Progress Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Cohort 3

Anderson, Kimberly Systemic Report: The Concerns of Middle School Mathematics Teachers Advisor: Dr. Hema Ramanathan

Ricks, Suevess R. New Leaders' Belief about the Preparation Needed for the Principalship Advisor: Dr. Abbot Packard

Cohort 2

Ball, Lisa Evaluating the Self Limiting Model with Second, Third, and Fourth Grade Students Advisor: Dr. Paul Phillips

Chapman, Janet Collaborative Early Intervention Program Teachers’ Roles as Change Agents in Relation to Current Change Theory Advisor: Dr. Barbara Kawulich

Earwood, Susan A Study to Determine the Extent to which Title I and Non-Title I Middle Schools Provide for Parent Involvement Advisor: Dr. Myrna Gantner

Fortes, Scott An Investigation of the Impact of Teaching Concepts that Promote Learning and Social Development for Sixth Grade Students in Physical Education Class Advisor: Dr. Marie Holbein

Fraker, Kimberly The Effects of a Freshman Academy Program on Standardized Test Performance and Core Course Academic Achievement in English and Math Advisor: Dr. C. J. Douvanis

Hays, Judy A Study of Changes in the Classroom Practice of Presenters in a Critical Friends Group Advisor: Dr. Paul Phillips

McLeod, Robert Co-teaching in the Secondary Classroom and Its Impact on Student Achievement Advisor: Dr. Abbot Packard

Smith, Edwin The Effects of Using an Expanded Adapted Rating Scale in Applying the Georgia Teacher Observation Instrument for the Evaluation of Classroom Teachers Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Porcher, Sonja An Examination of the Use of Differentiated Instruction Practices for Gifted Students in an Elementary Cluster Model Classroom Advisor: Dr. Marie Holbein

Williams, Florence Leadership Behaviors for Continous School Improvement Advisor: Dr. Barbara Kawulich

Williamson, Daria The Effects of a Career Education Mini-Course on the Career Decision-Making Skills of High School Students Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Wright, Doug Using Human Relations Incidents to Explore the Link Between Teacher Dispositions Associated with Effectiveness and Indicators of Student Learning Advisor: Dr. Deborah Bainer Jenkins

Cohort 1

Bagby, Sonja Stages of Concern: Measuring the Affective Dimension of Faculty Implementing an Instructional Innovation Advisor: Dr. Deborah Bainer Jenkins

Baker, Ann Women Educational Leaders: Beliefs and Practice of Leadership Characteristics and Situational Management Advisor: Dr. Robert Morris

Gonzales, Lisa Mini- Society for Teaching Economic Concepts and Entrepreneurship to Third Grade Students and Increasing Teacher Knowledge and Confidence Advisor: Dr. John Voneschenbach

Lambert, Simon The Multiple Realities of an Elementary School Library Media Center: A Case Study Advisor: Dr. Cher Hendricks

Perry, Alan A Chronology of the Use of Technology in Secondary School English Classes Advisor: Dr Cher Hendricks

Pratschler, Leslie An Investigation of Preferences for Activities Performed by Media Specialists in Middle Schools Advisor: Dr. Marie Holbein

Smith, Dannette Critical Friends Study Group: Exploring Changing Perceptions and Practices Advisor: Dr. Marie Holbein

Townsend, Richard Gender Equity in Georgia High Schools Advisor: Dr. Luke Cornelius

Woods, Lucia The Persistence of Elementary School Bully Prevention Training Into Middle School Advisor: Dr. Myrna Gantner