Scott Faul

Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Gary Schnellert


The purpose of this study was to provide an understanding of the perceptions of school leaders in western North Dakota regarding the effects of rapid population growth on PK-12 educational organizations. Factors considered were enrollment numbers, state assessment scores, ACT scores, student mobility, special education needs, personnel needs, number of English language learners, facilities' capacities, and transportation.

In order to gain a thorough understanding of the perceptions of school leaders and effects of rapid population growth on PK-12 educational organizations, a quantitative research model was used. The researcher gathered primary data from eight western North Dakota school districts and secondary data from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (DPI). A survey was administered to 36 administrators from these eight school districts, eight school board presidents, eight local education association presidents, and five special education directors. A survey was based on five constructs: change theory and school reform, administrative education and professional development, personnel issues, facilities, and academic challenges. The data gathered from the surveys and secondary data from DPI was analyzed and compared.

The researcher found school districts were seeing diversity amongst the student bodies that did not exist before rapid population growth. School leaders perceived that student mobility has affected school culture. School leaders described the difficulty of planning for an increase in number of students in the fall when payment for operation occurs based on the previous spring enrollment number. School leaders also perceived rapid population growth has affected overall academic performance; however, data obtained from the North Dakota DPI did not show an increase or decrease in overall school performances.

Keywords: Rapid Growth, PK-12, Effects, School