School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Alan Wimberley


Academic Achievement, Sense of Community, Social Community, Learning Community, Social Development Theory, PSAT/NMSQT


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership


Limited research has investigated the relationship between sense of community and academic achievement, as determined by students’ self-reported Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) scores. The purpose of this correlational study was to determine the extent by which sense of community can predict academic achievement among online public high school students. The predictor variables were social community and learning community. The criterion variable was academic achievement using student’s PSAT/NMSQT scores. The school form of the Classroom and School Community Inventory was given to 98 online high school students to complete. They represented a major suburban public school district comprised of 12 high schools. The students were also asked to self-report their overall PSAT/NMSQT scores. Using a predictive correlational design, a multiple regression analysis was performed to test the hypothesis that there was no statistically significant relationship between the predictor variables and the criterion variable. Results of the analysis failed to reject the null hypothesis. The study also contrasted with the results of a previous study. Recommendations for future research include using a much larger sample size and using student participants who are enrolled in online classes, traditional, or even blended instructional programs. The research should also include areas with population demographics in different environments or in different regions of the country.