Degree Date

Summer 6-2014

Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Norman Weston

Second Advisor

Carlos M. Azcoitia

Third Advisor

Richard Best


In these challenging times with school districts facing mandates for accountability, they can only accomplish these ambitious long-term mandates by engaging the greater community. Thus, any superintendent who is planning on improving student academic achievement and being employed in the district long-term will find it imperative to engage the community and develop community partnerships. This study utilized interviewing, a qualitative methodology, to gain insight into how five superintendents effectively engaged their communities. Findings revealed five effective strategies and actions for success: embracing community values, partnering with community organizations, building trust internally and externally, developing a systems approach to communication, and engaging the community strategically. While much has been written and said about the need and importance of engaging the community to lift and support student academic achievement, this study provides the "how to" to make it happen.