Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Ellen Treadway

Second Committee Member

Dr. Pam Dixon

Third Committee Member

Dr. Elizabeth Kindall

Program Director

Dr. John A. Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Jeff Robertson


There is a growing need for children’s mental health services. With the majority of their time spent at school, educators are often the first adults in a child’s life to identify and assist students with mental health needs. However, oftentimes educators do not have the education and training needed to assist students with accessing quality mental health services. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the preparedness of Arkansas public school principals to assist students with mental health needs in this rapidly changing era of education. The participant sample of the study consisted of 133 Arkansas public school principals. Data was collected through a peer-reviewed survey instrument developed by the researcher. The current study results indicated that Arkansas public school principals need more education, training, and resources in order to help meet the needs of all students. The results of this study can be used by Arkansas educators, policy makers, and legislators to help with the decision-making process related to school-based mental health services across the state.