Date of Award

5-1-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.D.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Ganga Persaud

Second Advisor

Dr. Moses Norman

Third Advisor

Dr. Melanie Carter

Abstract

This study examines student achievement to determine the extent that adolescent counseling, peer tutoring/counseling, student involvement, study skills, freshmen assemblies and activities, career activities, and teacher methodology have on student performance through the ninth grade transition program (Freshmen Academy). This study was based on the premise that students often have a difficult time making a transition from middle to high school academically. According to the research studies, more students fail ninth grade than any other grade of school. Poor and minority students are twice as likely as others to be retained. Students who repeat at least one year are three times more likely to drop out of school than students who have not failed a grade. A survey was used to analyze the data gathered. The sample population consists of random samples of twelve teachers that represent each area, English, social studies, math and science. The twelve teachers were observed and completed the teacher questionnaires. The student population was randomly selected to represent students of all abilities. Three (first year) ninth grade homerooms and one retained ninth grade homeroom were randomly selected for the student surveys. The researcher found that while in its first year of implementation, the freshmen program in this study was lacking many essential components which would contribute to the success of the program, such as team planning among the teachers, the isolation of the freshmen classes from the general classes of the other high school students, consistent academic and behavioral expectations, increased student involvement, and improved follow up on individual student’s performance. Findings show that there is a significant relationship between student achievement and the independent variables; however, there is not a significant relationship between the independent variables and the freshmen transition program. The conclusions drawn from the findings suggest that the program did not effectively improve the level of achievement in the school or improve the discipline problems among the students because the level of adolescent counseling, peer tutoring or counseling, student involvement, study skills taught, freshmen and career assemblies and activities, teacher methodology, instructional leadership, teacher expectations, and parental involvement were weak components in the program. Overall, the teachers agree that the level of achievement among the students did not improve as a result of the program and the program is not worth the time and money for this school year.

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