Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

H. Stanton Tuttle

Second Advisor

Darcel Y. Brady

Third Advisor

H. Stanton Tuttle

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery


In recent years, smaller learning communities (SLCs) have emerged as a strategy to address the social problems and poor academic performance of students in large high schools. Smaller learning communities are structures such as schools-within-schools and academies that offer smaller settings and more personal environments and instructional opportunities for students in large high schools. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between student achievement and SLCs in a medium sized suburban high school district in order to determine whether SLCs accomplished the goals of school reform. The school district under investigation received a Smaller Learning Communities grant from the United States Department of Education. The district was awarded a five-year grant in 2008 that ended in 2013. The current study evaluated data collected during the grant period to measure student achievement and graduation rate. A quantitative multivariate analysis was used to compare the GPA, ACT, and discipline data of students who were exposed to SLCs to those who were not exposed to SLCs in order to determine if there were any statistically significant differences between both groups.


Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2016 for Olivet Nazarene University.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.