Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - NLU Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jack Denny

Second Advisor

Norman Weston

Third Advisor

Angela Elkordy


This policy advocacy document investigates the role of student voice in school governance and projects the impacts of developed policy and practices on an early childhood through 8th grade school in an elementary district in Hillsborough, Illinois. The goal of this study is to show the potential for positive impact on students themselves as well as other stakeholders within the district. This policy advocacy details how student voice can affect the culture of the school and bring about improvements in student attendance, student achievement, and the overall school climate. Included in this document are approximate costs associated with implementing the practices of a student voice policy along with an implementation outline that the district should follow. Student voice is often only sparingly solicited in the governance of schools, but a policy of encouraging student voice is especially lacking at the elementary and middle levels of instruction. The researcher’s arguments in favor of student voice present the possibility of establishing this type of participation in younger grades—a practice that is necessary for students’ full successful participation as citizens in the 21st century.