Date of Award

Winter 2-6-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Philip Pendely

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisbeth Johnson

Third Advisor

Dr. Colleen Flavin


Purpose: The purpose of this parallel comparative Delphi study was to first identify the services provided by the County Office of Education (COE) to district superintendents that ensured their successful job performance from the perspective of both county superintendents/designees and district superintendents. Additionally, it sought to rate the importance of the identified services, identify the best methods of providing those services, and identify the rationale for each service provider method from both perspectives. The final purpose was to compare the results from both groups to determine alignment and efficacy.

Methodology: This study used a parallel comparative Delphi method that consisted of four rounds of questioning sent to county superintendents/designees and district superintendents. In Round 1, respondents were asked to identify the services provided by the COE that supported district superintendent job success. In Round 2, panelists were asked to rate the importance of those services utilizing a Likert scale. In Round 3, respondents were asked to identify the best service delivery methods for each service provided. In Round 4, participants were asked to provide a rationale for their choice of service delivery methods. In Round 5, the responses of the two groups were compared.

Findings: Each group chose two common service areas: budget/finance services and support and superintendent training and support. District superintendents ranked the importance of both service areas much lower than the COE superintendents/designees, and some respondents indicated a lack of confidence in COEs’ ability to provide those services. Additionally, there was a misalignment of responses in how to provide those services and why those delivery methods were chosen.

Conclusion: To ensure district superintendent effectiveness, COEs must provide services to districts in the following areas: a mentor or coach for district superintendents, and district specific training and support especially for smaller districts who lack resources. Finally, COEs must build and sustain trusting relationships with district superintendents.

Recommendations: Based on the findings of this study, three recommendations were proposed for further consideration and study in order to address the issue of district superintendent support by their COE.