Date of Award

Fall 11-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Beth Kania-Gosche

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Rankins

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom


For school counseling candidates, the culmination of the pathway to state certification and/or licensure lies in a passing score on a standardized test. Within the state of Missouri, this test is the Praxis II. Within the state of Missouri, an achievement gap on the pass rates of the Praxis II existed between Caucasian and African American students. Participants in this study, both male and female, attended a Midwestern, private university and spanned a wide range of ages, all older than 20 years. The participant population included African American and Caucasian students. This dissertation sought to explore potential contributors to the gap in passing scores on the Praxis II. Using a quantitative approach, the researcher investigated the relationship among students’ perceptions regarding control over academic outcomes (locus of control) in relation to study preparation, Praxis II test results, and a variety of variables. The results from this study indicated that there were not significant relationships amongst locus of control, planned study preparation, actual study preparation, and Praxis II scores. Two variables, age and ethnicity, were identified as predictors of Praxis II scores. The research proposed implications for school counseling programs, as well as faculty within those programs to develop learner-centered approaches to teaching, including Universal Design for Learning and inclusive teaching. Keywords: achievement gap, locus of control


Copyright 2018