Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Richard Hammett


Creating meaningful and effective professional development (PD) programs for K-12 teachers is an ongoing challenge. The problem is exacerbated when PD models are implemented without fully aligning PD resources and plans with the training needs of teachers and the organization. The guiding question sought to understand the experiences of teachers at an online charter school about the implementation of PD as a means for improving student outcomes. The purpose of the study was to find ways to enhance PD in order to improve student outcomes at the school. The conceptual framework for this study is interwoven through the constructs of student-centered learning, adult learning theory, transformational learning, self-directed learning, and emotional intelligence (EI). A qualitative case study was used in an appreciative inquiry approach that included a document review, written response survey, a positive assessment of EI skills, and focus group interview with 5 teacher participants. The EI data were analyzed using descriptive statistics to create an average EI profile for the group, and qualitative data were analyzed using inductive and comparative techniques. The results indicated that the teachers desired more focused PD that aligns to organizational goals, is collaborative, and includes support from leadership. Results informed the design of a workshop for school administrators focused on designing a PD implementation plan. This study promotes positive social change by increasing understanding of teachers' professional learning experiences and proposes a research-derived PD planning and implementation cycle in order to increase student achievement at the school.