Schools that have implemented professional learning communities (PLCs) have been experiencing the initial intention of professional learning communities, however, the essence of shared leadership, using collaboration as a problem solving component, and data-driven decision making is not in fact what is taking place in schools. The term "PLC" has become an overused and often detrimental label. This observed outcome could be attributed to how the professional learning community is implemented in the school. In order to have the change be effective, the new endeavor must be anchored in the culture. In fact, it has been observed that missing component in PLCs is the school culture does not take on the new culture that a PLC requires. This mixed method study was designed to investigate the extent to which professional learning communities are implemented among schools. The Concerns-Based Model and the Levels of Use instruments were used to assess the usage of the practices of professional learning communities. The Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) measures an organization's response to change or innovation. A change assessment was created to ascertain which provisions the leaders of the schools took to move the school from a traditional school to a professional learning community school. A regression analysis and factor analysis were conducted with the numerical scores of the change assessment and the Concerns-Based Model and the Levels of Use to determine which change efforts were most effective in implementing professional learning communities. The Change Assessment and the Concerns-Based Model are survey instruments and Level of Use is an interview protocol. In addition to these assessment tools, An Authentic PLC Assessment tool was created to determine which change efforts measured by the Change Assessment yielded authentic professional learning communities as described by the literature.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Professional learning communities

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Schmieder-Ramirez, June;