Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Cherie Gaines

Second Advisor

Joshua Tipton

Third Advisor

Shelley Burton


Participation in nonacademic activities that focus on creative skill improvement, like forensics‑drama, can increase high school students’ intrinsic desire to learn. Intrinsic motivation to learn resulted in academic success at the secondary and collegiate levels and career success at the professional level because the students felt confident in their abilities. Because the forensics-drama coach was the primary factor affecting students’ forensics-drama abilities, a greater understanding of the sources of forensics-drama coaching efficacy was required to discover how to better serve the students. Ten forensics-drama coaches in the state of Tennessee participated in this qualitative interpretive study in which they were interviewed to establish the perceived factors that led to forensics-drama coaching efficacy. Four factors were perceived to lead to forensics-drama coaching efficacy: Experience, Knowledge, Recognition, and Success. In addition, the three factors that forensics-drama coaches used to define success—Relationships, Growth, and Winning—were also found to individually lead to forensics-drama coaching efficacy. This study was a foundational study that could be used as the framework for future studies exploring forensics-drama coaching efficacy.


Coach, Debates, Drama, Forensics, Interviews, Qualitative research