Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Hal Knight

Committee Members

Dr. Virginia Foley, Dr. Robert Leger, Dr. Jasmine Renner


This study analyzed the perceptions of 13 school staff and their experiences with the implementation of GEAR UP TN. The primary purpose of this study was to examine how program activities and services are being sustained after funding for GEAR UP TN ceased.

Qualitative methodology guided this study. This approach allowed for the perspectives and lived experiences of the school staff to be voiced and heard. Data collected included their stories based on semistructured interviews and observations.

Findings are presented in 4 themes that pertain directly to the research questions regarding key elements that contributed to program continuation, procedures that initiated program continuation, organizations in a collaborative that were sustained after funding, and program services not continued. In this specific case there continues to be school district support, community support, parental support, and a level of financial and technical support from other funding sources.

Recommendations based on the results of the study are (1) implement college visits, ACT workshops, dual enrollment classes, and parent FAFSA workshops to create a college going culture; (2) gain support from the school board, parents, and the community; (3) maintain sufficient financial and human resources for precollege access programs and services; and (4) build partnerships with local colleges and universities.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.