Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jeanne L. Surface


In education, we seek to prepare students in a variety of facets. In order to prepare those students, we must look at a multitude of different factors in regard to that preparation. As students continue through their educational career, their time with the teachers that are educating them often decreases. In order to continue to advocate for students and build skills with students, we have seen a shift to focus on student relationships as well as curriculum. Using data collected with Pianta’s Student-Teacher Relationship Scale-Short Form and open-ended questions, this study seeks to investigate the effectiveness of the current middle school advisory model, and the preparation and training received in regard to that model. Previous studies have indicated that the advisory model has been given a clear purpose, but teachers may not always know that purpose. There is also little research completed in regard to the best practices for advisory programs at middle school and how to train and prepare staff. To investigae this issue, staff completed two Likert Scale surveys and four open-ended questions. Each survey was completed with a student in the teacher’s advisory in mind, a student with exemplary behavior and a student with challenging behavior. These categories were then used to review variance between whole group responses, and teachers who were deemed high in each categories responses. The open-ended questions were reviewed using grounded-theory open-coding, and codes were determined for each response. Results of the study indicated that teachers had a clear understanding of purpose, but that more research need to be completed to determine best practice for training and preparation.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2019 Emili L. Brosnan.

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