Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Guillermo Montes

Second Supervisor

Marie Cianca

Abstract

This study combined the literatures of social capital and care. Specifically, the study surveyed alumni perceptions of care from their high school teachers as a measure of teacher-based social capital. In contrast with previous literature that examined care as teacher-based social capital measuring from the teacher perspective, this is the first study to measure care as teacher-based social capital from the perspective of the former student. The study used an established instrument, Teven and McCroskey's (1999) Source Credibility Instrument, in an on-line format to measure perceptions of care from former teachers as the independent variable. The research survey collected data for a variety of post secondary dependent variables such as civic engagement, alumni involvement, academic achievement, degree attainment, and average annual income. The survey was sent to 5,305 alumni. The response rate was 24%. Chi-square analysis determined the strength of the relationships between the independent and dependent variables. The participants reported above expected levels of: (a) care, (b) average annual income, (c) post secondary education, and (d) civic engagement. Yet, few significant relationships were detected between the variables. The results of the study found that in the context of a well-educated, affluent community there was no detectable link between teacher-based social capital indicated by alumni perceptions of care and a variety of post secondary experiences. Future researchers should consider two pursuits: (a) investigating the influence of perceived care as teacher-based social while considering risk factors; and (b) measuring the influence of perceived care on high school academic achievement while measuring perceived care from the perspective of currently enrolled students.

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