Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award


Degree Type



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Tak C. Chan

Second Advisor

Dr. H. E. Holliday

Third Advisor

Dr. Binbin Jiang


School climate is a relevant topic for both public and private parochial schools to understand the value placed upon the school by the stakeholders. School climate studies are a critical component of effective education delivery in all school settings. The researcher was most interested in the private parochial school setting and the unique challenges facing the private Christian schools. In this study the researcher chose to use a survey previously created by the researcher to ascertain the perceptions of the students in six environments of the school setting. The survey instrument had already been validated and its reliability well established. The survey sought to discover the perceptions of the students in four schools in the greater Atlanta schools of the Georgia-Cumberland school system of Seventh-day Adventists to determine the school climate of all four schools and each school.

The focus of this quantitative study was to realize the perceptions of the students in grades three through eight with the use of the survey with six demographic questions and 60 questions with four Likert scale choices of answers. The survey consisted of six different environments to help determine the perceptions of the students in the Total Environment and the six separate environments. The six environments consisted of Social, Spiritual, Academic, Classroom, Home, and the School Operations.

The data analysis indicated a very high positive perception of all students about all six environments of the school climate. The demographic findings indicated no significant difference in student perception for gender, ethnicity, religion at home, or family status, but language spoken at home and grade levels showed some perception differences. The student perceptions of the Spiritual Environment were considerably higher than those of all other environments. Furthermore, no toxic environment was found for any environment or component of the survey. No significant relationship was found between academic achievement and the other environments, except for in Classroom Environment in the relationship with ELA of 0.04. When looking at the composite scores of the students in relationship with the environments no significant level was found except for the Spiritual Environment with a significance level of 0.04. The Total Environment with the composite scores had a significance level of 0.51 that was above the 0.05 significance level limit.