Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

E. Adrienne Hyle


Increasing student academic achievement continues to be a national call to action. Early student academic success can help prepare future citizens to be college and workforce ready. One construct, academic optimism (Hoy, Tarter, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2006a; McGuigan & Hoy, 2006), has been used in quantitative studies to examine increased student achievement. This study aims to contribute to the research on academic optimism by extending the School Academic Optimism Scale (SAOS) survey results through a qualitative case study description of a lower SES middle school. The selected school held a campus rating of Recognized as measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) state accountability tests and a high measure of academic optimism according to the SAOS. School staff beliefs, actions and procedures were documented and analyzed. Staff beliefs, actions, and procedures were related to the construct of academic optimism. Specific school interventions were presented and detailed. Academic optimism proved valuable in determining why the selected site achieved academic success


Education | Educational Leadership


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington