Fall 2023

ESRP 9000 Professor

Linda Gaughan

ESRP 9001 Professor

Linda Gaughan

Executive Summary

This strategic research project was designed to address the academic, social, and emotional learning (SEL) needs of students in an alternative school setting. Riverview Learning Center is an alternative school serving students from kindergarten through Grade 12 who had been removed from their school due to behavior infractions.

A SWOT analysis was conducted to determine the internal strengths and weaknesses, along with the external opportunities and threats of the organization. The researcher identified four possible solutions to help improve student intrinsic motivation in alternative schools and reduce some of the causes that put students at risk of academic disruption. Social and emotional learning taught through the whole school/whole child approach can have the strongest impact in developing self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Social and emotional learning skills are an integral part of human development and are the process through which young people acquire and apply skills, knowledge, and attitudes to manage emotions, develop healthy identities, and achieve personal goals.

An action plan spanning the time of one fiscal year was designed. The action plan includes creating an SEL team, determining the goals for the program, training faculty, implementing the school-wide data driven supports, and evaluate for progress. Through the action plan, the researcher hopes to bring about a solution focused foundation that helps remove barriers to learning so the students can learn the necessary skills critical to their success. Future longitudinal research designed specifically around alternative education students and their social/emotional learning is needed to help address the barriers and intricate needs confronting this special population of students.

Document Type

Strategic Research Project-NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education