Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Helen M Hazi

Committee Co-Chair

Allison S Dagen

Committee Member

Marjorie Darrah

Committee Member

Aimee Morewood

Committee Member

Neal Shambaugh


Implementing practices and programs into a school and making sure they are successful requires a collaborative effort among all involved in the school. With the expectations of what a school is to provide for students and faculty, school principals have been charged with serving as the building manager and instructional leader of the school. Teacher leadership has flourished as principals seek assistance from other education professionals. Instructional, or academic, coaches are formal teacher leaders who may work with teachers and principals. They can work closely with teachers to improve teaching practices and work to overcome the isolationism that traditionally exists in the profession. They can also work with principals to acquire resources for the teachers and serve as an instructional leader of the school.;This study focused on academic coaches in West Virginia. The purpose of this study was to understand who West Virginia academic coaches are, what types of responsibilities they have, and what challenges they encounter. All academic coaches listed in the state directory were invited to participate in the study. Participation involved completing a survey comprised of 17 demographic questions, 22 questions about their responsibilities as an academic coach and 10 questions about challenges they encounter as an academic coach. The return rate of the surveys was 42.1%.;From the responses, three conclusions were made: (1) academic coaches in West Virginia are generally females between the ages of 51-60 with more than 20 years of teaching experience, certified in elementary education and reading, and have about three years of coaching experience; (2) academic coaches in West Virginia are primarily responsible for assisting teachers with instructional types of tasks; and (3) the academic coaches experience few challenges and feel supported by teachers, school and county administration.