Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Peggy Wozniak

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Larick

Third Advisor

Dr. Carol Anderson-Woo


The purpose of this study was to explore differences in perceptions of school connectedness among Long Term English Learner (LTEL) students and Redesignated Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) students in a comprehensive high school setting. The study also seeks to determine whether or not there is a relationship between English language acquisition and perceptions of school connectedness among these two groups.

The target population was LTEL and RFEP students enrolled in grades 6-12 in public schools in Stanislaus County. Delimiting characteristics were applied to both the target population and the population sample to reduce variability. Quantitative data including artifacts and scaled survey scores were collected. A two-tailed t-test was employed to establish the significance of differences between LTEL and RFEP students across six different contexts of school connectedness. Semi-structured, open-ended interviews were conducted, and the qualitative data produced was coded and triangulated with the other two data sets.

The three research questions produced key findings showing significant differences between LTEL students and RFEP students’ perceptions and expectations within the academic performance, classroom behavior, and extracurricular involvement contexts. An additional key finding was that there is a relationship between perceptions of school connectedness and students’ status as either LTEL or RFEP.