Student Voice


Our Student Voice Initiative was developed to engage students in the problem-solving process and to give students a sense of empowerment and ownership in their academic outcomes with the goal of improving the learning culture and closing achievement gaps.


Logo for Student Voice initiative

The purpose of the American school is to provide for the fullest possible development of each learner for living morally, creatively, and productively in a democratic society (Educational Leadership, January 1957).  With so much emphasis on developing the skills that students will need to enter the work force, educators often neglect the importance of finding and developing their voice to be successful in a democratic society.  Creating independent and critical thinkers and encouraging students to find and share their voice must begin in our classrooms.  Only 46% of high school students feel that their school work is connected to, and prepares them, for everyday life (Bartlebaugh, 2017). 

Student Voice is defined as the individual and collective perspective and actions of young people within the context of learning and education (Mitra, 2008).  Students who have a voice in their educational journey are seven times more likely to be academically motivated (Quaglia, 2016).

Participants attending this institute will be introduced to research that correlates student voice and choice with student learning.  Teams will have the opportunity to create an action plan to transform the learning culture at their school where students and teachers are working collaboratively on a common vision.  



Five students and two faculty members compose your team of seven.

Length of Institute

Year 1

Two 2-day sessions
Session 1 is held in the fall
Session 2 is held in the spring

Year 2

Two 2-day sessions
Session 1 is held in the fall
Session 2 is held in the spring


Fairfield Bay Conference Center, Fairfield Bay, Arkansas


There is a $4,500 institute fee for a team of seven.  The two sessions of this institute include 2 nights lodging, 8 meals, snacks, books and materials.


Now accepting Student Voice Institute applications for the 2020-2021 school year.  

Please contact Richard Del Soto at 479-575-8477 or for more information.