Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Harrington Gibson

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Minor


This three-part dissertation concentrates on student attendance. It is clear that we have a student attendance problem in our nation, particularly in urban school districts. There have been other studies, discussions, and debates on how to improve student attendance, but identifying a single policy, program, incentive, and/or intervention to positively impact absenteeism is difficult. Student absenteeism has and will continue to be a national problem. Many factors play a role in student attendance, to a certain degree, some are controllable and others are extremely difficult to affect.

Part I of this dissertation is a Program Evaluation focusing on the correlation between student attendance and after-school performing arts programs. This study is an Empirical-Analytical Quantitative analysis of longitudinal archived data for schools in a large Midwest urban school district. The longitudinal data from 8 schools within the Midwest urban school district was analyzed. These schools were selected because they had an after-school performing arts program for at least two consecutive years.

The results show that the second year of implementation for an After-School Program, there is a strong positive linear relationship between School Attendance and After-School Program Attendance. However, the findings also make it difficult to answer the primary question of this program evaluation. Overall, the data implies that a longer study is needed to gage what type of linear relationship exist between School Attendance and After-School Program Attendance.

The overarching challenge is for school districts to be able to proactively manage student attendance to ensure children are in school on a regular basis. Creating a culture of collaboration for student attendance, shared responsibility, and trust are key to address our national student attendance crisis.


To the fiery spirit of my beloved grandmother,

Dolores Galloges Tevenal Talavera Diaz!

Thank you for giving me the strength to always believe…