Date of Award

Summer 7-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Brad Swofford


Student mobility is “students moving from one school to another for reasons other than being promoted to the next school level” (Rumberger, 2002, p. 1). In this qualitative study, the researcher detailed how student mobility impacted four rural intermediate elementary schools in two select counties in southwest Missouri. Four principals, four counselors, and four classroom teachers were interviewed to learn how high student mobility impacted these participants, mobile and non-mobile students, and schools overall. There has been ample research on student mobility in the primary grades and in high school, but very little research exists dealing with intermediate elementary students. Many common perceptions among those interviewed arose after data were analyzed. Participants agreed highly mobile students were more likely to struggle academically and socially than stably enrolled peers. In addition, interviewees felt highly mobile student populations presented more difficulties for teachers and administrators to successfully educate all children. The need for more effective enrollment and new student orientation practices surfaced as means to minimize the negative effects of high student mobility in the studied schools. Also, the need for more efficient communication with parents of mobile students was highlighted. Schools in this area must find ways to streamline curriculum and procedures to provide shared mobile students the opportunity to find academic and behavioral success. Conclusions from this study may help school leaders better address the needs presented by a highly mobile student population.


Copyright 2016