Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Markus Berndt


There is a significant achievement gap between limited English proficient (LEP) learners and English proficient (EP) learners. This problem is important because the U.S. education system’s inability to serve LEP students effectively results in significantly lower achievement on state exams and reduced career opportunities in later life. Arts integration programs can be a way to improve student learning in the classroom and state exam outcomes. The purpose of this study was to provide insight into whether bringing the arts into core curriculum can raise LEP students’ academic achievement, thereby helping to close the gap in practice of LEP students lacking 21st century college and career ready skills. The theoretical framework for this study was based on Eisner’s theory of expressive outcomes. The key research question investigated the relationship between the exposure to arts integration experiences and the outcomes of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam for 3rd grade LEP students in Golds County Public Schools (pseudonym). This study used a quantitative correlational design with archival data from 379 students, and a chi-square test of independence to investigate the relationship between the main constructs. A significant relationship between exposure to arts integration experiences and PARCC exam outcomes could not be identified (χ2(3) = 2.44, p = .486). Although no significant relationship was found in this study, bringing the arts into the core curriculum could be a viable way to raise LEP student academic achievement and thus contribute to positive social change by closing the achievement gap with EP learners. This study showed that further research is needed to close the gap between LEP and EP learners to promote a broader development of 21st century college and career ready skills.

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