Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Nancy Dishner

Committee Members

Terrence A. Tollefson, Russell F. West, Glenn Bettis, Elizabeth Ralston


The purposes of this research project were to identify the extent to which online courses are available to high school students in Tennessee, to describe the characteristics of current online programs, to identify barriers to the implementation of online courses in school systems that are not currently offering such programs, and to offer recommendations that could facilitate implementation of these programs. The research went in two directions. A study of past and current online educational programs was completed in order to learn the nature of successful programs across the country. Then, a survey was constructed and sent to appropriate technology personnel in Tennessee schools to evaluate both their current online programs and to determine those needed in the state.

There are only two school systems in Tennessee that allow students to earn online credits to be used towards high school graduation. One is a larger school system and the other is a medium sized school system; both are in the eastern region of the state. One survey respondent summed it up by saying:

I really think the State Department of Education should step up and provide some direction. Florida has a vanguard program; I’d like to see the same type of program implemented in Tennessee. If individual school districts are left to design their own programs, then there is going to be a lot of duplicated effort, a wide range of implementation strategies, and varying degrees of quality. That’s likely to breed confusion and disillusionment.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.