Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Mary M. Williams, EdD, Chair; Fred J. Galloway, EdD; William E. Piland, EdD


adolescents, character development, employability attributes, gender, grade levels, Leadership studies, secondary schools, work habits


Leadership to achieve the development of character and employability attributes depends highly on one significant principle—aligning practice with vision. The purpose of this study was to investigate the leadership necessary to design and implement an intervention process to develop character and employability attributes in secondary school students. The work habit mark was the means of assessing the degree of success to which a student demonstrated the attributes. The research questions under investigation were: (1) Is there a change in the demonstration of work habits marks after the intervention, and (2) Do any changes in the demonstration of work habits marks vary by gender or grade? A quasi-experimental one-group 3-year time series design was utilized to identify if the intervention resulted in a change in the demonstration of the attributes, and if the demonstration of the attributes varied by gender or grade. The researcher employed a combination of descriptive and inferential statistics. A maturation effect was also assessed and calculated into the data analysis. A paired two-tailed t-test of significance was used to determine if a difference existed between the mean scores of students with G work habit marks in all courses enrolled in prior to the intervention during year 2 and after the intervention during year 3 by gender and grade. A similar analysis was performed using the total number of G work habit marks before and after the intervention. The findings of this study indicate that relying on maturation alone for the development of these attributes is not enough. The majority of the results support the introduction of a formal process to teach, assess and recognize the development of character and employability attributes in secondary schools. Of particular interest was the finding that in every grade level of every year of the study, the percentage of females demonstrating the desired attributes was greater than males. Although some of the findings are mixed, they support the need for additional research regarding the implementation of character education at the secondary school level as well as research to address the current discrepancy between males and females.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access