Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Prince, Debra L.

Committee Member

Brocato, D. Kay

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Elementary, Middle, and Secondary Education Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Education


Department of Leadership and Foundations


This study examined the impact of the Whole Schools Initiative arts program on the academic achievement of a group of middle school students as measured by the Mississippi Curriculum Test 2 (MCT2) language arts and mathematics assessment. School year 2012-2013 yearly assessment scores for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in 1 middle school in the State of Mississippi were analyzed to determine if a statistically significant difference in academic achievement existed between those who participated in the arts program in elementary school and those who did not. This study was guided by 4 research questions and employed 2 research designs. Correlational research was used to answer research question 1. Question 1 sought to determine the relationships between MCT2 scores of middle school students and the number of years they attended an arts integration school. Questions 2 through 4 was answered using causal comparative research design to determine the differences in MCT2 scores of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students who attended an elementary school with an arts program and those who did not. The findings of this study indicated that there was a relationship between MCT2 math scores but no relationship between language arts MCT2 scores and attendance in an arts integrated school. In addition, it was determined that there were no significant differences in sixth grade language arts and sixth and seventh grade math achievement scores of students who attended an elementary school with an arts integration program. However, there were significant differences in seventh and eighth grade language arts and eighth grade math scores of students who attended arts integrated elementary. The study concludes with recommendations for future research.