Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education


Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Rosusan D. Bartee

Second Advisor

Nichelle Robinson

Third Advisor

Ryan Niemeyer

Relational Format



Each of the states bordering Mississippi invests large amounts of money in providing children with state-funded pre-k programs in their public schools. However, Mississippi falls behind these states and does not similarly invest in this effort to provide many of its children with the opportunity to attend state-funded pre-k programs. Because school readiness is such a huge concern for instructional leaders of Mississippi schools, there is a need to determine the benefits associated with offering pre-k to all students throughout the state. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the impact pre-k has on the academic achievement of students in Mississippi school districts. Two hypotheses were tested in order to determine if a significant difference existed between pre-k attendees and non-attendees using 2015-2016 MAP test data in reading and math. After conducting an independent samples t test, findings from this study suggested there is a significant difference between the MAP reading and math test scores of 2015-2016 third grade students in Mississippi schools who attended public school pre-k programs and students who did not. Thus, it is important to invest more resources in pre-k in efforts to close the achievement gap between MS and the neighboring states.


Emphasis: Education Leadership (K-12)



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