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. Steve Bounds

Second Committee Member

Dr. John A. Freeman

Third Committee Member

Dr. Tony Prothro

Program Director

Dr. John A. Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Jeff Robertson


This study addresses teacher education level and the impact it has on student achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine whether there are any differences in student achievement between students taught by teachers with advanced degrees in a specific content area and those students taught by teachers with only a bachelor’s degree or those with a master’s degree outside the subject area. The study examined ninth and tenth grade ACT Aspire student achievement data collected from teachers who hold a master’s degree in a subject-related content area and teachers who do not hold a master’s degree in a subject-related content area. Data from six different local educational agencies (LEA) was analyzed to determine statistical significance between degree attainment and student achievement. The results varied based on content area and teacher degree; however, overall, content area master’s degrees do not have a significant positive effect on student achievement.