Dissertation Spotlight

Dissertation Spotlight graphic

Teacher-student relationships can positively or negatively affect a student’s behavior and academic performance. When looking at a specific student group in a particular subject, the extent to which that relationship can impact students’ achievement can provide powerful information. Makeba Butler, EdD, wanted to explore this further in terms of math achievement among black males, thinking… Read More

Many schools have moved away from punitive discipline measures, choosing restorative practices instead. Restorative practices also promote equity. So how does this approach impact the school climate? Akil Boucaud, EdD, asked that very question while earning his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland. Focusing on elementary schools, Boucaud’s dissertation is titled, “A Correlational Study Examining the Relationship Between… Read More

At its core, social justice in education is about learning how we can make positive changes in our communities. Tina Lageson, EdD, is a kindergarten teacher at Glencoe Elementary School in Portland, Oregon and she is passionate about this topic, especially when it comes to young children. “There is a misconception about the ability level… Read More

As the principal of Clear Creek Middle School in Oregon, David Atherton, EdD, understands the importance of recruiting, hiring, and supporting administrators who are strong instructional leaders. While earning his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland, Atherton decided to examine this process for his dissertation, “Human Resource Management Practices for Public School Principals: Recruitment, Selection, and Development.”… Read More

One of the biggest concerns in higher education institutions is finding an effective way to increase student retention in an online environment. Lisa Fee, EdD, decided to examine this in her dissertation, “Online Orientation: An Investigation of Its Effect on Graduate Students’ First-Course Retention.” Fee earned her Doctorate of Education in Higher Education from Concordia University-Portland and is… Read More

Many educators and school leaders try to address the needs associated with at-risk students, but it is a complex issue. While there have been some studies that show how the arts can positively impact at-risk students’ academic performance, Oscar Houchins, III, EdD, could not find any in which researchers show how an art-related program utilizing… Read More

There are close to five million English learners in U.S. public schools, which has increased by about eight percent since 2000. Teachers must adjust their teaching styles to fit their needs, and that means they need to be armed with the tools and knowledge to do so effectively. Rachael Hoffert, EdD, who recently earned her… Read More

New teachers often struggle with classroom management so how do these novice educators achieve self-efficacy? Kentyl Byrne, EdD, posed this question while earning her Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland. Byrne is a Western Governors University Teachers’ College Evaluator and full-time mom, and she was concerned about how many new middle school teachers have problems… Read More

Educators and policymakers often struggle with the widespread problem of chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism has been attributed to long-term detrimental effects within the student population, including reduced levels of scholastic readiness and lower graduation rates. James Brookins, EdD, earned his Doctorate of Education from Concordia University-Portland and chose to analyze this issue in his dissertation,… Read More

The principal of a school plays an essential role in creating a cooperative work environment. Amy Blakey, EdD, who recently earned her Doctorate of Education in Transformational Leadership, decided to examine how perceptions impact principals’ ability to create a collaborative environment in elementary schools. Let’s look at Blakey’s work and key findings from her dissertation, “A Case Study… Read More

Elementary and secondary education in the United States provides a rich multicultural experience for those lucky enough to experience it – and understand it. For those who come into the system not yet knowing English, however, it can go either way. On the one hand, many students benefit hugely from an English-speaking milieu and quickly… Read More

Administrators, especially new ones, need support in order to thrive as educational leaders. While working as a novice charter school principal, Monique Woodley, EdD, wanted to explore this topic further. She was earning her Doctorate of Education in Educational Administration from Concordia University-Portland and decided to focus on novice principals for her dissertation, “Principal Socialization: A… Read More

Today’s emphasis on inclusive education shows great promise for the success of tomorrow’s youth. As Open Society Foundations explains, “Inclusive education means different and diverse students learning side-by-side in the same classroom.” In this model, special needs students spend most of their learning time side-by-side with a diverse mix of students and this results in… Read More

There is a unique interplay between English and Spanish fluency, but how does the heritage language impact second-generation Hispanic students? Camille Schuler, EdD, explored this topic in her dissertation and took it even further, examining how the heritage language influences the way in which second-generation Hispanic adolescents integrate into their community and how they see… Read More

Even though K-12 public schools are dominated by female teachers, there’s a disproportionate number of male administrators. In fact, women make up 76% of teachers but only 52% of principals. As an assistant principal of a middle school in Humble, Texas, Danielle Taylor, EdD, questioned this gender gap. While earning her Doctorate of Education from… Read More