Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Carla Sparks

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Lukas

Third Advisor

Dr. Lorrie Butler


We are almost a quarter of the way through the 21st Century, yet most education institutions do not provide STEM education for all students. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) have been a special focus of both industry and federal education initiatives in recent years. STEM is a proven way of building student skills needed for the workforce of tomorrow. The purpose of this study is to determine why education decision-makers resist implementing STEM programs equitably for all students. The context of this inquiry is district and school-based leaders throughout the United States, from elementary to high school, who have none to some STEM or career and technical education programs throughout their schools and districts. My research answers questions about barriers to STEM program adoption broadly and identifies a scalable framework of practices that includes all students in STEM programs.