Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Third Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to research strategies of successful afterschool programs and their effectiveness in promoting student achievement and closing achievement gaps. Many afterschool programs have boasted of their ability to improve student achievement. Some students who participated in afterschool programs have shown an increase of improved academic performance. However, studies have indicated that students are still performing below grade level on national and state curriculum standards. Data have shown that fifth graders across the state ofGeorgiaare struggling in math, social studies, and science. Effective academic afterschool programs may have assisted struggling students in raising their Criterion Reference Competency Tests (CRCT) scores. Afterschool programs have the ability to help students socially, emotionally, culturally, behaviorally and academically. The variables addressed in the study are (a) program effectiveness, (b) student motivation, (c) parental involvement, (d) successful program structure, (e) student attendance, (f) student involvement/ socialization, (g) climate of the program, and (h) student expectations. Data were gathered using observations, face-to-face teacher interviews, document analysis, teacher questionnaires, and student questionnaires.

The sample was 24 (18 students from school A and 6 students from school B) fifth grade students in two select afterschool programs whose CRCT data were compared to students in the same school but do they did not attend the afterschool program. The comparison group was 18 fifth grade students from school A and 15 fifth grade students from school B. The CRCT test data revealed how well students may perform on standardized tests even if they do not attend the afterschool program. Although CRCT test data were used to help determine the effectiveness of the afterschool program in improving academic achievement in fifth grade students, there may be other factors that contributed to student success. The fifth grade students were selected because they are mandated to takeGeorgia’s standardized CRCT. In mostGeorgiacounties, if students do not pass all parts of the CRCT, they will not be able to move on to the next grade level.

The results revealed that students in the study enjoyed attending the afterschool programs. After review of the CRCT data, it was determined that most of the study participants and the non-study participants mostly met or exceeded in reading and math. School A had an adequate study group of 15 students. School B only had four students’ CRCT test scores. Two students in school B scored below grade level in math. The study also revealed that there may be other factors as to why students perform well on the CRCT.

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