Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. Bruce Bryant


The purpose of this study was to explore the possible academic effects of student participation in athletics and music-based performing arts. In pursuit of academic excellence, district school boards and administrators must carefully allocate the district’s fiscal resources to maximize available funds. If student participation in athletics and music-based performing arts indicate a link to increased academic outcomes, then eliminating these programs to reduce budget concerns may not be the best choice. Five hypotheses were considered using data from four rural Arkansas high schools to determine if any effects by gender, of student participation in athletics or music-based performing arts on academic outcomes as measured by GPA and ACT composite scores existed. While results from this study found both higher mean GPA and ACT scores existed for students who participated in athletics and music than for nonparticipating students, there was no statistical interaction between the variables in each hypothesis; thus, insufficient evidence existed to reject the null for all hypotheses in the study. Next, the main effects were analyzed for each hypothesis. Again, no statistical significance for the main effects was found.

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