Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)


School of Education

Degree Name


First Advisor

Dr. Rudolph Green


Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to analyze the personal characteristics of high school students enrolled in an alternative school with those enrolled in a traditional school and (2) to compare the achievement observed in selected psychological and educational factors by these students during a semester. Significance of the Study A review of the literature pertaining to high risk students revealed that the majority of the studies focused on the acquisition of basic skills to the relative exclusion of other important areas. For example, there was a paucity of research related to the affective domain. No attempt is made to diminish the importance of reading writing and arithmetic in the student’s academic behavior but equal attention needs to be given to the psychosocial factors that impact on the academic behavior of students. Methods and Procedures. The ex post facto research design was employed in this study. It permitted the investigator to compare the differences between alternative school students and traditional school students on selected psychological and educational variables. The dependent variables were the measure of academic achievement, academic performance, attendance, career maturity, and disruptive behavior. Participants The participants consisted of seventy adolescent students. Instruments The following instruments were utilized to collect data for this study: the Basic Skills Assessment Program, the Career Maturity Inventory, the How I See Myself Scale, the attendance reports, and the discipline records of the participant. Conclusions The following general conclusions were drawn from the findings of this study: 1. Since there was no statistically significant difference between the levels of self-concept and academic achievement of students enrolled in alternative and traditional schools it may be concluded that these students have similar self-concepts and academic achievement. 2. The nature of student academic achievement in alternative schools parallel academic achievement of students enrolled in traditional schools. 3. There is a strong similarity between the academic performance of students enrolled in traditional schools. 4. Students in alternative schools and students in traditional schools have similar attendance patterns. 5. Students in alternative schools experience the same level of career maturity as students in traditional schools. 6. Students in alternative schools experience the same level of disruptive behavior as students enrolled in traditional schools.