Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mathews, Jerry

Committee Member

Davis, Ed

Committee Member

Wyatt, John

Committee Member

Blackbourn, Richard

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


School Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems, Leadership and Workforce Development


This study was designed to examine one school district’s response to the largest automobile plant in North America being built in its county. An economic development package worth in excess of one billion dollars would surely change the landscape of the community and the district for years to come, but how should the district respond? Nissan North America announced in November of 2000 that it would build the largest automobile plant in North America in Canton, Mississippi. This plant would employee over four thousand employees and thirteen suppliers to that plant that would employee another five to six thousand employees to supply parts, maintenance and support personnel. As the automobile industry began its move south in the 1980’s with Nissan in Smyrna, Tennessee, Mercedes in Vance, Alabama, Honda in Lincoln, Alabama, BMW in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Toyota in Georgetown, Kentucky, communities began to see changes that large economic development packages brought with them. This study looked at several key questions regarding the resulting effect on such a large influx of people. What were going to be the educational changes involved with such a project? Demographics were going to change, but how and when, the district experienced dramatic shifts in student population? If student population exploded, then what was the resulting effect upon the facilities of the district? If new facilities were going to be needed to house the existing and future student population then what school designs needed to be pursued to provide the latest educational advantage? With new students and new facilities, then how will the delivery of instruction adapt? Will curriculum and instruction adapt to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind mandates and the needs of the areas’ newest employer? What about school personnel that operated and maintained the buildings; what about how to recruit the new teachers needed to instruct the coming explosion of student population? Finally, how will the school climate change with new students and parents entering the community from various regions to attain the well paying jobs associated with the automobile facility and its suppliers?



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