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ERIC Number: ED535432
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 133
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-6855-7
Examining High Performing Advocacy Groups in a Large Public High School
Butler, Craig B.
ProQuest LLC, D.Ed. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
This study focused on examining high performing advisory groups in a large public high school to determine the impact the advisory program had on the students and the school. This study will supplement the scarcity of research available on the effect of advisory programs at the high school level. This is a qualitative study which utilized the intensive case study as the research methodology. Data collection sources included interviews, observations, and document analysis. Interviews were conducted with five teachers, six counselors, twenty-five students, the building principal, and the program coordinator. The researcher conducted interviews during an intensive one-week visitation period; however ongoing data collection occurred over a three-month time frame. Cite selection was accomplished through a pre-study principal survey combined with the reputation of the school's advisory program. The primary research questions included in this study were, (1) what is the impact of an effective advisory program, and (2) what structural, cultural and content/theme components are present that contributed to the efficacy of the program. Several important conclusions were drawn from this study. First, teacher support and willingness coupled with building-wide enthusiasm and excitement around a compelling need for the program was imperative. An advisory program will be ineffective and stagnant without such support. Teachers and students must be committed to the program and its success. If this element is present it propagates a favorable relationship between the student/advocate and the benefits to the school and its students are unlimited. The student/advocate relationship was the cornerstone of the program and all efforts were focused on nurturing this relationship. Second, whereas the impact for the students in the effective advocacy groups was clearly positive, the effects on the larger school environment were negligible. The students and advocates reported that the impact on the individual student was measurably greater than the school as a whole. In fact, there was conclusive evidence that some advocacy groups were functioning at a high level while others were stagnant and under-performed. Third, the advisory program affected the professional preparation time required by the teachers. The effective advocates had to devise activities beyond the scripted plans to include activities and curriculum more specifically suited for their advisory group. The effective advocates reported that the program required extra planning to ensure the success of their advisory sessions. The teachers believed the preparation element was overlooked during the implementation phase and that little to no effort had been exerted to address this issue. Fourth, whereas the school thoughtfully planned scripted lessons for advisory, such activities were of less value to the advocates and students than the activities planned by the advocates that were more specifically designed for the needs of each advocacy group. With the exception of the academic progress checks and some college preparatory activities the scripted lessons were deemed invaluable and lacked relevance. The findings from this study augment the literature currently available on the effect of advisory/advocacy programs in large high schools by studying the structural and cultural attributes of effective advocacy groups. Further study is recommended in the area of teacher preparation for the role of advocate versus teacher (as content specialist) and how schools might better equip teachers of varying experience for this unconventional role, particularly at the high school level. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A