Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Kim VanDerLinden


A Nation at Risk (1983) asserted that American schools were failing. Subsequently, considerable efforts have been made to address the need for more innovative instruction. In order for students to meet the demands of the 21st century, project-based learning (PBL) could be the solution. PBL is as an instructional approach to education that is designed to engage students in the investigation of real-world problems. The purpose of the study was to understand whether PBL positively impacts students’ connection to their school, learning experiences, and preparation for college and career. This quantitative study included two groups of high school students. One group of students were immersed in a PBL program in their school, and the other group of students did not have a PBL program in their school. Every student in the two schools were exposed to the same curriculum throughout the duration of the research. This model made for a more logical comparison of the two schools. Students enrolled in the high schools were in Grades 9-11 and ranged in age from approximately 13 to 19-years old.

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