ERIC Number: ED311123
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
The Consumers' Perspective: At-Risk Youth Talk about Programs.
Public/Private Ventures, Philadelphia, PA.
This document summarizes the findings of a study of the reasons why some at-risk youth persist in special programs while others drop out. Information was gathered from 16 focus group sessions comprised of both "persisters" and "leavers" from in-school remedial programs and out-of-school youth service corps. The findings, presented in the youths' own words, are as follows: (1) complaints about programs were similar for both groups and included tedium, unmet expectations, and problems with staff or peers; (2) persisters decided to stay on the basis of social bonds, parental influence, staff influence, personal determination, future expectations, and satisfaction with the program; (3) leavers found some positive aspects to their programs and gave clear messages to program staff that they were considering dropping out; and (4) leavers decided to drop out based on extrinsic and program-related reasons. Recommendations for practitioners include the following: (1) incentives and counseling are needed during the initial phase of a program when youth are most vulnerable to attrition; (2) monetary rewards and positive learning experiences were most frequently cited as incentives; (3) a relationship with a teacher or supervisor, or the team spirit in a class or group, was most frequently cited as the most positive aspect of participation; (4) complaints should be regarded as opportunities for staff intervention; and (5) leavers may play a positive role for those who persist. (FMW)
Descriptors: Dropout Attitudes, Dropout Prevention, Dropout Programs, Dropouts, High Risk Students, Motivation, Persistence, Personal Narratives, Remedial Programs, School Holding Power, Secondary Education, Youth Programs
Public/Private Ventures, Communications Department, 399 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
Publication Type: Reports - General; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.
Authoring Institution: Public/Private Ventures, Philadelphia, PA.