Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Noran Moffett

Second Advisor

Dr. Moses C. Norman

Third Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner


The graduation rate is a significant topic for groups who have a vested interest in education across the nation. With limited studies on the effectiveness of alternative schools and one of their main purposes for existence, to increase the graduation rate, this study was conducted as a qualitative descriptive case study of a Metropolitan Atlanta Alternative High School. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of students and members of the leadership team as it related to the independent factors, components of the alternative school program, and the dependent factor, high school completion. One hundred two students and three educators were participants in the study. The students completed a survey. Five of the 102 students participated in a focus group. The members of the leadership team were individually interviewed. Documents were also reviewed. Although there are numerous factors that may impact student achievement, this study primarily focused on educational factors. Educational factors, as opposed to environmental or demographic factors, are subject to manipulation by stakeholders. It is expected that the findings of this study will invoke further research, interest administrators, as well as teachers, who serve students in alternative schools and traditional schools. If educational factors influence high school completion, the findings may interest policymakers who could restructure alternative schools, as well as traditional high schools, to better meet the needs of students who are at risk of contributing to the dropout rate.

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