Date of Award

Fall 9-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Philip Pendley

Second Advisor

Minda Stacklehouse

Third Advisor

Robert Hill


Purpose: The purpose of this sequential explanatory mixed methods study was to determine the relationship between independent study charter schoolteachers’ emotional intelligence (EQ) scores, as measured by the Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SSEIT), and the number of credits earned in a learning period by their students. An additional purpose was to describe how independent study high school teachers perceive their ability to model the EQ attributes of self-awareness, self-regulation, internal motivation, empathy, and social skill (Goleman, 2006) influences student credit completion.

Methodology: This study used a mixed methods approach to collect quantitative and qualitative data from highly qualified independent study teachers working in charter schools with at-risk high school students. Using the SSEIT, 33 Likert scale questions were placed into categories that matched the 5 EQ traits according to Goleman (2006): self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. A series of 12 qualitative questions were asked to 10 participants, and themes were coded under the same 5 EQ traits.

Findings: In the overall quantitative findings, motivation was measured to be the highest ranked emotional intelligent trait in making students successful. This was the second highest ranked qualitative response. Similarly, self-awareness was the highest ranked qualitative response, and motivation was the second highest quantitative response.

Conclusion: These findings indicate motivation and self-awareness are very closely linked in the quantitative and qualitative data. Considering the reality that teachers self-reported their ability to be self-aware in the interviews, the correlation to motivation is evident. Teachers who are more self-aware are able to be more motivational to their students, as indicated from the responses of the data.

Recommendations: Based on the findings and limitations of this study, the researcher recommends further research in understanding how motivation contributes to at-risk student success is impacted by teachers who are able to be self-aware. If more students are able to receive motivation from teachers who are more self-aware, the data indicate that the students will perform better.