Date of Award

Spring 3-6-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership for Learning Dissertations


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Buckman, David

First Committee Member

Jimenez, Albert

Second Committee Member

Johnson, Arvin


The purpose of this study was to contribute to the body of literature regarding decisions school leaders make when developing strategic plans to improve student outcomes. This study investigated whether there is a significant relationship between the school’s climate and graduation rates for public high schools in the state of Georgia when controlling for potential covariates. Like most states, Georgia legislatures have increasingly placed more responsibilities on schools to graduate students on time. For this study, "on time” refers to students who graduate within a four-year cohort, beginning when students enter the ninth grade. Research over the last decade suggests attention should be given to alternative aspects of the school experience, including the quality of instruction, interpersonal relationships, school safety, and structural features within the school building that may increase positive student outcomes (Ali & Siddiqui, 2016; Eller & Eller, 2009; La Salle, 2013; Wang & Degol, 2016).