Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Dr. Wilson I. Gautier

Second Advisor

Dr. H. Edward Lilley

Third Advisor

Dr. Ranjit K. Majumder

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Perry D. Phillips

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Richard Meckley


The purpose of this study was threefold. The perceptions of the school superintendent, one of the most experienced school board members, and one of the least experienced school board members from each district included in the study were surveyed to: (1) ascertain the current status of in-service training for school board members at the local district level; (2) determine the areas of training needed by local district school board members; and (3) assess the reasons for the lack of adequate in-service training programs for school board members at the local district level.

A stratified random sample of school districts in Region Three (a division used by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare) was selected for inclusion in the study. Region Three is comprised of Washington, D. C. and the states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Data related to the topic were secured by means of a mailed questionnaire.

Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in analyzing the data. The primary statistical procedure employed was analysis of variance. All computations were performed on an IBM 360/75 computer operated at the West Virginia University Computer Center using the Statistical Analysis System (SAS).

The major findings that emerged from the analysis of the data were:

  1. A total of 38.4 percent of all the participants in the study indicated that in-service training programs for board members were being provided in their school districts.
  2. In those districts where in-service training for board members was provided the following topics were used most often as subjects for the programs:

A. Professional Negotiations

B. Community Relations

C. Legal Rights and Responsibilities

D. Student Rights.

3. Perceptions of both superintendents and school board members regarding the effectiveness of in-service training programs ranged from satisfactory to effective.

4. The perceptions of the participants in the study regarding the need for providing in-service training programs for school board members ranged from important to very important.

5. The following areas of training (listed in order of importance) were perceived as the most important ones for inclusion in training programs for board members:

A. The Board and the Community

B. The Board and the Administration

C. The Board and School Business Management.

6. The lack of time on the part of board members and school administrators was perceived by the participants in the study as the major reason for the lack of adequate in-service training programs.


The University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies became the WV Graduate College in 1992 and was subsequently merged with Marshall University in 1997.


School board.