Political initiatives in response to government reports have focused on students’ preparation for higher education and their future careers, and students fall short. School districts and school programs give attention to the application of instructional practices to ensure students’ college and career preparation, providing professional development in various instructional methods that address Language Arts and Math skills development, and students fall short. Teachers work tirelessly to use instructional strategies that develop students’ critical and computational thinking, communication, collaboration, and creative skills, and students fall short as research indicates that students entering higher education continue to require remedial classes before beginning their college degree programs. This qualitative study design’s purpose was to analyze the effective practices that early college high school principals employ that influence the academic achievement of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Thirteen (13) research participants’ responses to leadership style, challenges, and solutions in program planning, development, and implementation with their recommendations yielded sixty themes of practices and strategies employed by early college high school principals. This study’s results corroborate the literature on effective educational leadership practices that affect student achievement and inform educational leadership practice for underrepresented student populations in higher education. Implications for further research address the academic needs of other underrepresented student populations in higher education, including students with moderate to severe educational needs, foster youth and homeless youth.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Minorities -- Education (Secondary); High school principals -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;