Date of Award

Fall 11-23-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Andrea Kayne

Second Advisor

Melissa R. Bradford

Third Advisor

Julia Mahfouz


This study seeks the voice of practitioners to identify social emotional factors positively influencing students otherwise experiencing academic underperformance. Research has affirmed the positive impact of social emotional learning (SEL) on both short-term and long-term outcomes, while also indicating a correlation between difficulties with social emotional factors and academic underperformance. Intervention programs provide a unique opportunity to leverage SEL assets for more positive outcomes for students experiencing underperformance. This study examines the SEL factors intervention program practitioners identify as having a positive impact on students experiencing underperformance, utilizing triangulated sources: (a) document analysis of intervention program design, (b) interviews with program coordinators regarding significant SEL factors, and (c) surveys in which practitioners identify SEL factors of significance. While intervention program design emphasized academic skills with a minor emphasis on SEL factors, practitioners indicated the significance of a much broader array of SEL factors: relational capacity/interpersonal qualities, self-identity/efficacy, conflict resolution, ethical and performance values, and qualities of perspective. Results support consideration of an array of student social emotional assets in intervention program design to support positive student outcomes, rather than a narrow focus on the development of academic skills.