Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Leadership and Policies

Sub-Department

Educational Administration

First Advisor

Lynn Harrill

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the Ninth and Tenth Grade Academy Program on graduation rates, ninth and tenth grade student retention rates, and ninth and tenth grade student attendance rates at an Upstate South Carolina High School. Additionally, this study examined the impact of the Academy Program on graduation rates based upon gender. Furthermore, analysis was conducted to determine if a statistically significant relationship existed between graduation and attendance post implementation of the Academy Program. With the Academy Program at this Upstate South Carolina High School, the amount of time spent in mathematics and English classes was doubled for ninth and tenth grade learners. For this study, data were examined two years prior to the implementation of the Academy Program and compared to data four and five years beyond implementation of the program. Graduation rates, ninth and tenth grade retention rates, and ninth and tenth grade student attendance were examined for students targeted to graduate in 2002 and 2003 for the prior implementation years. As the Academy Program was implemented during the 2003-2004 school year, data for post implementation were collected for students coded to graduate in 2007 and 2008. Post implementation data included graduation rates, ninth and tenth grade retention rates, and ninth and tenth grade student attendance. Use of data from 2007 and 2008 allowed for two 4-year cycles of graduation data post implementation of the Academy Program. Results from this study indicated significant differences in student attendance and grade level retention for ninth and tenth grade students after implementation of the program. Results did not indicate a statistically significant difference in graduation rates as a result of the Academy Program. However, a significant difference in graduation rates based on gender was realized after the implementation of the program. Additionally, a statistically significant relationship was found between graduation and attendance; however, the strength of this relationship was small. Overall, this study provides information for educational leaders to help identify strategies to positively impact high school reform.

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