Date of Award


Degree Name

PhD Leadership Studies

Dissertation Committee

Edward F. DeRoche, PhD, Chair; Steven A. Gelb, PhD, Member; Carolyn B. Hansen, EdD, Member


below grade level, California Unified School District--CUSD, communication, computer-assisted instructional model, curriculum, federal grant program, mathematics achievement gap, middle schools, military dependents, professional development, qualitative, Students Achieving Through Technology--SATT-21, value-added study


Closing the achievement gap in public education means all students are expected to be learning at grade level. In response to federal mandates requiring schools to attain specific student achievement benchmarks, many schools are placing greater resources into support programs designed to increase student achievement. Military dependent students experience unique challenges including, ongoing parent absences, extended parental deployments, and frequent moving and relocation. In California Unified School District (CUSD) where 37% of the student population is military connected, these challenges can place military dependent students at risk of failing socially, emotionally and academically. As a result, CUSD implemented an individualized, computer-assisted instructional model to support military dependent students performing below grade level. The purpose of this study was to provide additional, value-added information, to the findings of the district's annual assessment report of a three-year federally funded grant designed to close the mathematics achievement gap for military dependent students performing below grade level at a California middle school. This study focused on the value-added support program titled, Students Achieving Through Technology (SATT-21) a three year, 1.4 million dollar federally funded grant designated to CUSD in order to address the achievement gap of military dependent students performing below grade level in mathematics. The researcher used a qualitative approach (survey and interviews) to gain insights into the perceptions, concerns, and suggestions of the participants involved in the SATT-21 program at the district's middle school to address the research questions posed for the study. After a careful analysis of the district's annual assessment report, in combination with the responses from the participant's experiences in the program, findings revealed three major focus areas associated with the grant: (1) communication, (2) curriculum, and (3) professional development. Numerous themes emerged within each of the focus areas which supported suggestions and recommendations for the SATT-21 program. The results of this study provide value-added information for the district and stakeholders investing resources into school support programs designed to increase student achievement, particularly for military dependent students performing below grade level in mathematics.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access


Leadership Studies