Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kathleen Claggett


Student writing skills are a growing concern in secondary schools given the current focus on common core standards and college readiness. This qualitative case study addressed the growing problem of high school students being unprepared for the rigor of college level-writing. The study used a series of 10 interviews with writing center directors and teachers in 2 secondary schools with writing centers. This research adds to the literature on peer-managed writing centers and contributes to the body of knowledge of writing centers as a specific conceptual framework of response to intervention (RtI). The broad research questions were focused on 3 topics: student's writing abilities, the effectiveness of the intervention of the writing center, and possible improvements to the writing center. Three directors and 7 teachers were selected for interviews through purposeful sampling. Inductive analysis was used to identify emergent themes: establishing a peer-managed writing center, function of the center, student writing, effectiveness of the writing center, and suggested improvements. The culminating project for this research was the establishment of a professional development program designed to provide a foundation for schools that are creating a peer-managed writing center at the secondary level. This study promotes the development of these centers across the school district of the study and provides evidence for RtI as a method to address the problem of secondary students being unprepared for writing at the post-secondary level. Positive social change can be achieved for the local school district by expanding the use of peer-managed writing centers with a focus on using RtI to address the problem of students being unprepared for the rigors of college writing.