Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Sandra Stringer

Second Advisor

Dr. Michale Lubelfeld

Third Advisor

Dr. Harrington Gibson


Today, as students prepare for post-secondary opportunities, a greater and greater emphasis is placed on the importance of engaging learners both in and out of the classroom. While many students are inclined to get involved, there is a growing number of young people who face barriers that prevent them from connecting and engaging in the high school experience. Importantly, socioeconomic status plays a key role in determining how engaged a student may be, as well as serving as a key identifier in what must be addressed to ensure more young people get involved in their academic and co-curricular learning. This study focuses on the role that socioeconomic status plays in students perceived ability to connect and engage in their secondary education, and proposes a policy where schools must include professional development and training on teaching young people who come from poor backgrounds.