Dr. Kim Saum-Mills

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Title An evaluation of an intervention program for secondary at-risk students
Author Saum, Kimberley Kaye
School The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Degree EdD
Date 1999
Adviser LaCost, Barbara Y.
Pages 203
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Abstract The overall purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of an educational intervention program on students, parents, and teachers of the program. Qualitative research procedure was used. For the evaluation, eight themes addressed in the grant proposal for the intervention program were explored through interviews before the program was initiated and after one year into the program. These themes were, students' sense of belonging (community), students' perceptions of self, students' values of school, students' future goals, parent involvement, parents' perceptions of student, parents' perceptions of school, and teachers' perceptions of at-risk youth. The researcher found that many students experienced a sense of belonging (community) when they attended the At-Risk Program under study. However, over the time period of one academic year, students' perception of self did not change greatly. Furthermore, parents did not increase involvement in school nor did their perceptions about the school change. Teachers' perception that at-risk youth require interaction and individual attention remained consistent. The researcher also gathered descriptive demographic data including the district data of failure rate, attendance, and discipline referrals of the eight at-risk high school students. Data were extracted from the district's comprehensive database to determine if a difference existed in the failure rate, attendance, and discipline of these students between their year as participants of the At-Risk Program and their previous year as nonparticipants. Five of the eight students improved their percentage of passed classes during their year in the At-Risk Program. Four of the eight students had an increase of discipline referrals as participants in the At-Risk Program. One student improved his attendance as a participant in the At-Risk Program. The researcher has made recommendations regarding development and changes that might be implemented in the At-Risk Program for students at this site. These recommendations may have merit for educators interested in improving education for at-risk students in other settings.
 
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