Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. John Nash


Ninth grade is a critical period where some children experience academic and social growth, while others struggle to navigate their new context, leading to reduced outcomes at school and worsened physical/mental health (Benner & Graham, 2007; Rice, 2001). This mixed-methods action research (MMAR) study addressed how professional practice changes could better support students during this foundational period. Quantitative data was collected from school databases to compare the rate of student success and identify demographic discrepancies, while qualitative data was used to identify possible causes. These data were then integrated to create insightful meta-inferences into the problem of practice. From these meta-inferences, a professional development was created with faculty input to address the problem of practice. Quantitative and qualitative were collected post-intervention to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention on the problem of practice.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)