Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory

Second Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Third Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Abstract

The purpose of this mix-study was to investigate the effectiveness of the relationship of selected independent variables (student absenteeism, Pass Rate of Georgia High School Graduation Test, discipline referrals, interdisciplinary intervention, student gender, best practices, themes, project based learning, advisement, shared facilities, interdisciplinary teaching, performance based assessments, personalization, continuous program improvement and looping) as perceived by teachers and counselors relating to student retention, the dependent variable, at a high school small learning community. The statistical mean summary analysis, frequency data and Pearson Correlation statistical strength levels revealed that most factors improved since implementation of small learning communities. Also, the interview questionnaire and focus group session too rendered a finding that small learning environments positively affected the factors of this study. The conclusion was that more personalized learning environments allowed teachers and counselors to build stronger relationships with students and parents. In return, students and parents were able to receive support needed that was individualized and effective. Early warning systems allowed for social barriers to success to be quickly identified and eliminated. Thus, these types of systems better allowed for overall improvement in most factors of this study.

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