Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Third Advisor

Dr. Darrell Groves

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods study was to investigate the factors that impact the quality of implementation of the Advanced Placement (AP) Program at a select urban high school and determine if the implementation methods can be attributed to the exam success rates. Furthermore, this study analyzed the quality of program implementation through student and teacher perceptions to investigate a relationship between factors of implementation and student performance on the AP exams. This research was conducted at a large metropolitan Atlanta high school, with a large minority population, located in the suburbs of a large urban school district in the southeastern part of the United States. The participants in this study were juniors and seniors who were currently participating in Advanced Placement at their school. Additionally, teacher and administrative personnel who worked with the Advanced Placement program participated in the study. Data collection was done through the concurrent embedded research design. The data for this study were collected through surveys, interviews, and test scores. The findings/conclusions from this study suggest that student classification (junior or senior), perception of the value of AP classes and the overall program, teaching methods, the number of AP classes taken in one year, teacher training, and the lack of a clear policy may influence the success rates of students on AP examinations. Practical implications and recommendations for educational leaders are offered.

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