Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Tricia Browne-Ferrigno


Teacher leadership is a growing practice for supporting K-12 teachers and students. Recent policy regulations in the Commonwealth of Kentucky mandated a change in the professional standards used by approved graduate programs that prepare teacher leaders. To support this foundational change, program leaders designed programmatic goals, curriculum, structure, and tasks to align with the Teacher Leader Model Standards that emphasize promising research-based practices. The programs support development of teacher leadership through pedagogical approach, requirements, and programmatic structure.

Using a qualitative, multi-site case-study approach, this dissertation explored Kentucky teacher leadership graduate programs to understand how teacher leaders were formally prepared. Program leaders, faculty, and review of materials communicated how their programs support teacher leaders within and beyond the classroom, thus serving the greater community. Professional learning for teachers as leaders was a focus of this study. The study sought to uncover how formal development occurs within the context of Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB)-approved graduate leadership programs. Layered Framework for, Models of, and Development within Teacher Leadership served as the dissertation’s conceptual framework.

Because the new legislative shift to Teacher Leader Model Standards was effective August 1, 2019, conclusions drawn from this study added to the literature base and field of study. This case study provided a foundational exploration of how high-graduate yielding teacher leader programs (TLPs) in Kentucky institutions formally prepared teacher leaders leading up to, during, and after new legislation adoption. The TLPs of interest are those approved by EPSB. In addition to programmatic individuals’ dialogue, a Teacher Leader Review Committee member shared the process and intention behind the adoption of the Teacher Leader Model Standards for Kentucky’s EPSB-approved teacher leadership programs.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)