Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Brenda Kennedy


In recent years, several schools have addressed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 by focusing on promoting skill acquisition in reading and math, often overlooking physical education (PE) as a significant part of a child's education. The purpose of this causal-comparative study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an integrated health and physical education (HPE) program on student achievement. This study was grounded in action-based learning theories. The research question examined differences in posttest scores, adjusted for pretest differences, from 204 freshman students enrolled in a Biology-1 class at an urban high school. Students in Group A were enrolled in Biology-1 and an HPE class that incorporates Biology-1 content. Students in Group B were enrolled in Biology-1 but were not in a HPE class; thus, they did not participate in the integrated HPE program. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to determine whether the integrated PE program increased student achievement in Biology-1. The findings showed that there was a significant difference between the two groups (p < .05). The Biology-1 students who participated in the integrated HPE program scored significantly higher on the Biology-1 state test than the Biology-1 students who did not participate in the integrated HPE program. These results may influence educational decisions regarding the use of HPE by encouraging serious consideration of an integrated HPE program, which could enhance student achievement, thus promoting positive social change.