Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


School of Communication

First Advisor

Melinda F. Bryan


Research has shown that the majority of classroom environments lack appropriate acoustical standards to ensure optimal learning conditions. During the early school grades, it is especially crucial that students overcome poor listening environments to obtain the fundamental educational skills necessary for academic success. Furthermore, the State of Louisiana conducts standardized test assessments (LEAP and iLEAP) to measure the students' knowledge and skills gained. These standardized test scores not only determine if the student progresses to the next grade, but also influences the amount of federal revenue and how the revenue is allocated to the schools. A proposed remedy to reduce poor acoustics is to increase the signal-to-noise ratio in classrooms through the use of sound field amplification (SFA). To that end, the aim of this dissertation was to evaluate the potential benefits of SFA systems on standardized test scores in the elementary school age population through an extensive literature review that was used to develop a grant proposal. An appropriate grant proposal was developed in order to secure funding for the purpose of obtaining four SFA systems to be placed in 3rd and 4th elementary classrooms at the beginning of the school year in which they are scheduled to take the LEAP and iLEAP. Those scores will then be obtained and statistically analyzed to compare standardized test scores for students who are learning in classrooms with and without SFA. The American Hearing Research Foundation General Research Grant was deemed appropriate as this foundation awards four to six $20,000 grants each year for research in the areas of hearing and balance. This current grant proposal request meets the criteria as described in the proposal guidelines.