AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Academic effectiveness of an early intervention program for below average or failing high school students

by Christine Barela

Institution: Northern Arizona University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Education
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2117567
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=3745461


To address the national high school dropout rate, most high schools have developed intervention programs. The dropout rate is one of the variables said to have a negative socioeconomic outcome and schools are charged with correcting this problem as well as preparing students for college and career. Intervention programs vary in their design and are created to meet the needs of the individual school and or district. The concern for intervention programs is not the design itself but in fact the lack of data determining if the program is effective in meeting the goals set forth. The purpose of this study was to examine the data from a high school intervention program known as the Thunder Success Academy (TSA) to determine its academic effectiveness for below average to failing high school students. The study was a case study to analyze any changes in semester grade point average, credits for graduation, overall feeling of academic learning and feedback of the overall program. Both quantitative and qualitative data were gathered by the researcher. The quantitative data in this study was collected from 102 high school student transcripts prior to and after attending a class in the TSA program during a three-year period, school years 2012 to 2015. The control group also consisted of 102 students and matched them demographically. Their transcripts were reviewed and data were taken from the same semester as the experimental group. The qualitative data were collected from 10 randomly selected student interviews of five male and five female from the experimental group. Additionally, the qualitative data were generated by student input providing information through semi-structured interviews. The interview questions provided the students’ perspective on whether TSA motivated and or built confidence for future coursework, likelihood of graduating on time, what type of experience the student had with on-line learning and the specific software learning program and what the most important aspects and suggestions for change to the program. Although the quantitative data did not show significant statistical difference, the qualitative data did show that the students felt the program overall did assist them with staying on track for graduating from high school on time as well as helping them feel better about school, and performing better in their current academic coursework. Therefore, the researcher believes that the way in which TSA is designed makes it a meaningful program regarding keeping students on track to graduate from high school and the high school should continue to offer it as a choice to students.