Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Ronald Styron, Jr.

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

David Lee

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 3

Rose McNeese

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 4

James T. Johnson


The primary purpose for the Graduation Coach intervention is to increase the graduation rate and help schools produce a student that can be a productive citizen. The increasing dropout rate in the United States of America, coupled with the recent addition of some legislation, has forced schools and districts to implement programs to combat this deficiency. The economic and social impacts that dropouts have on society are vast and can be devastating for some communities. The setting in which a school resides and the leadership style of the school principal are factors that could have a significant impact on the success of the students and the intervention that is used to help increase the graduation rate. This study investigated if the setting, rural or urban, impacts the Graduation Coach intervention as measured by the graduation rate of the schools in each setting. A T-test was conducted and showed that there was no significance between the setting and graduation rate.

A survey was sent to 50 principals, 25 from each setting, to investigate if there is any correlation between leadership style and graduation rate, their level of support for the Graduation Coach Intervention, the level of training the Graduation Coach received and their perceptions of the Graduation Coach’s duties. The first 40 statements on the survey were closed statements in which the respondents indicated their level of agreement by marking the appropriate box on the six-point Likert scale. The final two statements were open-ended questions that addressed the level of training the Graduation Coaches received and the perceptions of the principal about the role of the Graduation Coach. The results from this survey were evaluated through the use of a Pearson Correlation and indicated that there was no correlation between the leadership style and the graduation rate. The level of support for the intervention indicated by the principals also showed no significance when compared to the graduation rate. The data collected for the level of training had no significance, however, some schools that did have training had lower graduation rates than schools that did not receive training.

The results of this study indicated that there are many other factors that impact student success and graduation rates. The variables that impact the success of a school are varied from school to school and the formula to having a successful school might never be found. !