Adrian Neely

PhD Student, Education (Policy and Program Evaluation, Teacher Education, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy)
Adrian Neely
Academic Institution: Georgia State University Location: Atlanta, Georgia Cohort Start Year: 2016
Research Topics: Education, Violence and Trauma
Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), Young Children (0-5 years)

Neely’s research includes understanding how schools that self-identify as trauma-sensitive, are accountable to their student population through policy implementation at the micro and macro levels. She is particularly interested in education and health outcomes of students attending schools that function as a system of care to understand if schools are mitigators or perpetrators of trauma.

Adrian Neely is a second-year doctoral student in the Middle and Secondary Education Department with a concentration on Teaching and Teacher Education at Georgia State University. She earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Education from the University of Georgia. Adrian began her educational career as a high school science instructor in the Atlanta metropolitan area. She has served as an Aerospace Education Specialist for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), serving urban and rural communities throughout the United States. Neely has provided leadership and coordination of policy implementation in state government at the Georgia Department of Education and the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

School Connectedness and African American Students: An Examination with Implications for Policy and Teacher Education

This study examined student perceptions of school connectedness across racial subgroups (African American, white, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, and Other) and the relationships between school connectedness, teacher racial composition, peer support, adult support, teacher support, discrimination, and expectations when examining African American middle school student’s perceptions, as measured by the Georgia Student Health Survey 2.0. These relationships were explored using data collected from middle school students (N = 308,887) across 580 public schools in Georgia. This three-part, quantitative study employed one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and an integrated, multilevel modeling approach (inclusive of confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling) for statistical analyses. The results indicated that perceptions of school connectedness are practically similar across racial groups, with the largest variance between white and African American students. Further analyses revealed African American students’ conception of school connectedness differs from the construct widely used in Georgia. These findings are discussed in terms of the challenges facing racial equity in understanding, contextualizing, and developing culturally sensitive measures of school connectedness.


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