Date of Award



© 2018 Christina M. Finn

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Heather Wilmot

Third Advisor

Peter Douris


Concussion and the cumulative effects of repetitive head injury are a growing health concern (Ahmed & Hall, 2017). Although a major emphasis throughout the literature related to concussion is on ‘return to play’, there is a growing body of literature focused on safe return to school following concussion. However, many educators and school personnel are unaware of the potential impact of concussion on academic performance or how to implement return to learn procedures following concussion (Dreer, Crowley, Cash, O’Neill, & Cox, 2016; Wing, Amanullah, Jacobs, Clark, & Merritt, 2015). Although college students may face unique challenges when returning to school following concussion, (Hall, 2015) there is limited literature focused on return to learn for the college student or information on how college faculty should be trained. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a return to learn after concussion educational program on faculty knowledge and attitudes regarding concussion and the effect on learning and return to school. The study utilized a mixed method design, with a pre-test and post-test to measure concussion knowledge before and after a didactic presentation on concussion and academic performance. Semi-structured interviews gathered information on faculty’s perception of concussion and academic performance as well as potential impact on future teaching practices.

Overall, faculty reported having limited knowledge prior to the training, and felt that the training improved explicit knowledge of concussion. Following the training, they felt more inclined to be attentive to the needs of students, including looking out for signs of concussion, and that they would be willing to implement or adhere to recommendations for academic accommodations. Lastly, they did not receive specific information from the school about the school’s policies and procedures for concussion and return to learn. Results indicate that a didactic presentation on concussion and academics may be an effective method for training college faculty. Faculty report the importance of carefully observing all student behaviors and being flexible and open to academic accommodations. Training in concussion and other issues related to emotional and mental health may be of benefit for faculty teaching in institutions of higher education.


Ed.D. Dissertation