Date of Award



© 2016 Susan Keogh

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Grania Holman

Second Advisor

Ella Benson

Third Advisor

Denise Nicholson


This study examined the summer program offered by a pre-kindergarten through grade twelve independent school. Three levels of theory, individual, group, and organizational, were utilized to analyze the experiences of students and instructors. The variety of opportunities and instructional design elements, the intentional alignment to the traditional school year, collegial discussions connecting summer learning and the school year, and evidence of the school’s mission were examined.

Findings revealed a wide-range of educational experiences and the benefits of continuous learning that are evident the following school year. Class designs incorporated instructional elements supported by individual learning theories. Academic standards and expectations aligned to the traditional school year; summer classes have developed in tandem with curriculum refinements. Instructors valued the opportunities for more frequent collegial discussions and professional development. The school’s mission was evident within the academics, leadership, and community. Explicitly communicating these elements increased the perceived and actual value of this program both internally and throughout the community.


Ed.D. Dissertation