Exploring the Role of Dean of Students and Comparing the Effectiveness of the Traditional Model Versus the Dean Model for Urban High School Administration Based on Student Achievement, Attendance and Graduation Rates



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The role of Dean of Students in the field of education has been given very little attention specifically at the high school level. The study for this thesis sought to fill that void through an exploration and analyses of the role of dean of students at high schools in a major urban setting in southeast Texas, using descriptive statistics. The initial purposes of the study were to develop an understanding of the role of dean of students as described by administrators in the selected school district and to analyze their responses to a theoretical construct created to study the implementation of the dean of students’ role. The exploration data were collected using a survey-questionnaire that was sent to 899 employees of the independent school district, each of whom held the title of principal, assistant principal, counselor, dean of students, or dean of instruction. A total of 217 individuals elected to participate in the study. The analysis only included those who had served for at least one full year as a dean of students (40), school counselor (20), or assistant principal (43) at the high school level. The results of the exploration study indicated that the dean of students’ role is a hybrid between that of an assistant principal and of a school counselor. The ultimate goal of the study was to determine if one model of administration demonstrates itself to be more effective based on three key performance indicators: student achievement, graduation, and attendance rates. The effectiveness data were taken from Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) data published by the Texas Education Agency. The analyses indicated that high schools that employed deans of students as their administrators collectively outperformed the campuses that used the traditional model that uses assistant principals and school counselors separately.



Dean of students, High school, Administration, Leadership, Exploration, Student achievement, Assistant principals, Counselors, Urban