Date of Award

Fall 8-16-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Sally Evans, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Corey McKenna, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Teresa Dillard, Ed.D.


This action research study used the Guskey Model (2000) to evaluate the effects of a professional development program on an urban after-school program staff. The purpose of the 15-week professional development was to increase staff self-efficacy in classroom management, to improve student-staff relationships, and to decrease serious discipline events at the program. The impact of the professional development program was investigated with a diverse sample of seven after-school program staff participants who were studied through semi-structured interviews, surveys, class observations, and aggregated student behavior and academic records. The variety of data sources were concurrently triangulated to find that the professional development program had a positive impact on staff self-efficacy and student-staff relationships. During this professional development period, student disciplinary behaviors showed a downward trend. A paired sample t-test revealed no statistically significant difference in student achievement pre- and post- staff professional development. Qualitative data from the interviews produced the following results as crucial elements to successful urban classroom management: community immersion by the staff, longevity by the staff, ongoing staff accountability and supervisory support, and parent and community engagement. Future research should further evaluate the effects of culturally responsive classroom management through increased sample size and/or multi-site study.