Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Barbara Cozza

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Gil

Third Advisor

Seokhee Cho


Through a constant growing population of English language learners (ELL) within schools, there is a need to bridge the achievement gap effectively. Currently from the ELL population in New York State, 63.3% of ELLs are considered Newcomers (NYSED, 2019). Newcomer ELLs have been in US Schools for less than three years. The importance of looking at the perceptions of students and teachers within a stand-alone English as a new language (ENL) classroom is important in supporting the future success of English Language Learners. In knowing how the setting of a stand-alone ENL class impacts the student’s high school success can decipher how to support an effective ELL program with an effective aligned curriculum.

This concurrent mixed method study explored student and teacher perceptions of stand-alone ENL classes while also exploring predicting variables of ELL graduation. The first phase was the qualitative phase which explored the perceptions of teachers and students who instruct stand-alone ELLs and collect data through interviews, class observations and lesson plans. The quantitative model used data from NYSESLAT scores, and a system database (ATS) to examine predicting variables of ELL students’ graduation.

The results of the qualitative analysis revealed that students and teachers believe that stand-alone ENL courses were not preparing students for mainstream courses adequately, there were program issues occurring when students were placed in stand-alone ENL courses and that students would benefit from integrated ENL versus stand-alone ENL. The quantitative phase resulted in significant findings for first year entry level academic average in predicting ELL high school graduation. The quantitative findings supported early interventions for ELLs in secondary education. The findings in this study support the need for a push-in model for ELL content area courses to support the academic achievement of the growing number of ELLs in the mainstream classrooms.