Date of Award

Summer 7-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Danny Humble


Creating a positive, engaging school culture is a goal of most school districts and school administrators (Clark, 2015). Many educators believe the most effective methods of instilling a positive school culture include school-wide systems of implementation (Gruenert & Whitaker, 2015). This qualitative study included an in-depth look at the perceptions of implementation teams from two counties in southwest Missouri on the impact of school-wide character development models on school culture, student behaviors, and student leadership skills. The study was also designed to determine the factors within a school that have the greatest impact on the implementation process. Interviews were conducted with focus groups to gather insight into the perceptions of teachers, administrators, and implementation leaders. After completion of all focus groups, it was evident many commonalities exist among the implementation teams across the varying buildings and districts. Most participants agreed their implemented character development model had a positive impact on school culture throughout the process. The impact associated with student behaviors and student leadership skills depended much more specifically on the goals associated with the school-wide systematic model. The study also resulted in data indicating factors that impact the implementation process are very similar to factors that impact any large-scale change initiative. The results of this study can provide insight for administrators and implementation leaders when considering the preparation and planning of systematic character development models.


Copyright 2018