Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership

College

College of Education

Department

Center for Leadership & Learning

Committee Chair

Dr. Wayne Williams

Second Committee Member

Dr. John A. Freeman

Third Committee Member

Dr. Patricia Weaver

Program Director

Dr. John A. Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Jeff Robertson

Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive study was to identify the attitudes and perceptions of speech-language pathologists and school administrators regarding professional development. This study contains both quantitative and qualitative survey data from speech-language pathologists and school administrators currently serving in the public schools in Arkansas. This survey, deployed over a six-week period, contained a series of Likert-type and open-ended questions that were analyzed by the researcher to answer three research questions. There were 182 speech-language pathologists and 103 school administrators who responded to this survey. The participants were chosen from an email list obtained from Arkansas Department of Education and Arkansas Board of Examiner in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. The study examined needs of the speechlanguage pathologists in professional development and to what degree this current professional development met the needs of these professionals. Results obtained from the Likert-style questions were analyzed through descriptive analysis and an independent t-test with an alpha level of p<.05 established to accept or reject the 14 null hypotheses. The study also examined the need for more professional development in literacy to be provided. The results of this study indicate that perceptions of professional development differ significantly between speech-language pathologists and school administrators. The data suggests that there is a significant relationship between speech-language pathologists needing professional development in literacy in the schools. Additional analyses with open-ended responses indicate the need for professional development in literacy. Overall, there appears to be weaknesses in professional development provided to speech-language pathologists in the schools.

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