Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Yinying Wang, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Will Rumbaugh, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Robert Hendrick, Ph.D.


Educational partnerships are a convenient but underutilized tool in school improvement and reform efforts. Grounded in social capital theory and social network theory, this dissertation study explores the perceptions of school principals, business leaders, and community members on how resources are embedded, accessed, and utilized in local educational partnerships. Social network analysis examined the social network structures underlying the relationships between principals, business leaders, and community members in educational partnerships. The sample selection of five secondary schools provides multiple locations for the study. A total of twelve participants within the same school district in the southeastern United States will participate in this study. Data was gathered through interviews, surveys, and a document review and was analyzed according to the three themes of Lin’s network theory of social capital: 1) resource embeddedness, 2) resource accessibility, and 3) resource utilization. Interviews and documents were analyzed using constant comparative analysis, and survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and centrality measures. This study is critical because it takes a network approach with educational partnerships and provides practical insight into how school administrators can refine their business outreach and engagement efforts.


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