Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Jody Goins

Second Advisor

Andrew Courtner

Third Advisor

Tony Maxwell


STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education has become a panacea for many woes in our country’s educational and economic systems. Each year schools struggle with judiciously allocating their limited funds to various STEM programs in hopes that they may reap academic returns. This study examined the effect of a STEM certification from the AdvancED educational accreditation organization on elementary student achievement. The researcher analyzed extant student achievement data from twenty Georgia elementary schools that earned the AdvancED STEM certification to investigate any statistically significant difference between pre-certification and post-certification scores. The researcher analyzed scores from four content areas: English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. By using an independent sample t-test, the researcher concluded the AdvancED STEM certification did not have a significant effect on the achievement levels in any content areas.


STEM, AdvancED, Academic achievement, Elementary schools, Georgia