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Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2023

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Christopher B. Knaus, Ph.D., Chair

Second Advisor

Tyson Marsh, Ph.D., Member

Third Advisor

Kevin McCarthy, Ph.D., Member


Situated in Washington State during the height of the global Covid-19 pandemic, this qualitative, insider-practitioner study examined the instructional context of four instructors engaged in a competency-based, high school completion for adults faculty praxis on community and technical college campuses through a state-supported program called High School+ (HS+). Guided by three areas of inquiry, this research sought to (1) explore how HS+ faculty describe their instructional praxis in the context of personal identity; (2) probe the cultural, structural, and administrative challenges HS+ faculty face when enacting competency-based instruction on community and technical college campuses oriented toward seat-time models of instruction; and (3) engage with the ideas HS+ faculty have about solutions to these cultural, structural, and administrative challenges aided by formal scholarship and other forms of shared wisdom. Through formal interviews and during the course of sustained, professional engagement with each participant, the following themes emerged: (a) Problematizing the GED; (b) HS+ praxis rooted in holism and defined by identity; (c) Asset-oriented competency-based instruction; (d) Structural misalignment; and (e) Hypervigilance. Discussion is framed around Tema Okun’s characteristics of and practical antidotes to White Supremacy Culture, with particular focus on White Supremacy Culture’s fear-based and paternalistic demands for Perfectionism, supported by the belief that there is One Right Way which must be enacted through the illusion of Objectivity and by reducing the complexity of lived human experiences down to Either/Or Binaries by individuals deemed Qualified due to their status as members of white, formally-educated, and landowning classes of people and always shielded by White Supremacy Culture’s ever-present Defensiveness.