School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Carol Mowen

Primary Subject Area

Education, Administration; Education, General


Attendance, Graduation, Improvement, School, Suspension, Uniforms


Educational Administration and Supervision


Graduation rates in Tennessee are 8 points below the state goal of 90%. Implementation of a school uniform policy may be a way to improve these rates by giving students increased school structure. The purpose of this quantitative, causal comparative study was to examine whether a significant difference exists in graduation, attendance, and suspension rates between a school that has a school uniform policy and a school that does not. Two public high schools in East Tennessee, one with and one without a school uniform policy, with similar demographics were compared. A second comparison was made after the implementation of a school uniform policy in one of the schools. Factors that promote successful implementation of a uniform policy for students, parents, and the community to accept the change to school uniforms were examined. The results of the study showed that a school uniform policy had a positive significant effect on improving the graduation rate of a rural school in East Tennessee when compared to a school of similar demographics. However, there was no significant effect on student attendance or suspension rates. The second comparison demonstrated a significant improvement in graduation rates at the same school after the implementation of a school uniform policy but no significant effect on attendance and suspension rates.