Date of Award

Fall 11-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Kent Medlin

Third Advisor

Dr. Brad Hanson


This study involved a mixed design to generate the perceptions of students and teachers about failing ninth-grade students and the impact of learning resources. The participants in this study were a purposive selection of ninth-grade students and ninth-grade teachers in one Missouri school district. The conceptual framework of this study was based on the premise that ninth-grade students who failed multiple classes also lacked learning resources. The learning resources were categorized into cultural and physical resources. To determine if learning resources had an impact on the ninth-grade students’ academic performance, the perceptions of the failing ninth-grade students were analyzed through a student survey and one-on-one interviews. In addition, ninth-grade teachers were surveyed, and their perceptions were included in the data analysis. The results of the data analysis indicated the students and teachers perceived the ninth-grade students had inadequate levels of family and friend support, lacked motivation and preparation for school, and made poor decisions that negatively impacted their academic performance. Furthermore, the perceptions of both students and teachers indicated the failing ninth grade students did not lack physical resources. One significant aspect of this study was through the data collection process and the challenge of managing at-risk students. The students’ at-risk factors included attendance, discipline infractions, and course failure. These factors, along with irresponsibility, created barriers for the student participants and contributed to a 17.2% completion rate.


Copyright 2015