Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Phillip Rapp


Colleges and universities have taken on the legislative challenge within the state of North Carolina to engage civically through joint efforts with school districts within counties with dire challenges to improve academic and social and emotional outcomes for children. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of lab school processes and their impact on teachers and student outcomes. This is a qualitative study of school leaders, teachers, families, and support personnel within a university lab school to determine their impact on at-risk populations in kindergarten through Grade 5. Data from this study were obtained using a qualitative research design utilizing a narrative analysis evaluation. Experiences of those engaged in supporting high-risk students for improved academic outcomes in partnership with an urban school district of North Carolina were included in this research. Participants responded to questions emerging from journaled accounts of lab school processes, academic programming, and educational practice. Follow-up questions developed from identified and emergent trends and themes were conducted through individual interviews surrounding the four core research goals of this study: support, service, pedagogy, and partnerships. Findings will inform school leaders and stakeholders in the educational arena of the most efficacious approaches for improving outcomes for children existing within at-risk educational environments. The majority of this study indicated the lab school had multiple positive effects on lab school students and staff especially in the areas of increased student and teacher efficacy through a strong sense of community, increased teacher autonomy and access to professional development, providing more exposure to areas at-risk students lack, as well as focused instruction based on student needs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License