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ERIC Number: ED550806
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 132
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-1285-3
The Impact of Freshman Academies on the Academic Achievement of At-Risk Students in the Midlands of South Carolina
McMillan, John
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, South Carolina State University
The transition from eighth-grade middle school to ninth-grade in high school can be an extremely challenging experience (Kennelly & Monrad, 2007). According to the Texas Center for Educational Research, more students decide to drop out of school during their ninth-grade year than any other time (Marshall, 2003). According to Fulco (2009), this pressure is intensified even more so for at-risk students. The Freshman Academy has been found as a remedy for this situation. The difficulty of the at-risk transition is also seen in the belief that the nation's school systems are not serving these students well (Haney, 2003). According to Sewell (2009), the Freshman Academy serves as transitional programs that provide more nurturing environments than traditional high school structures. The academy also creates a situation where interventions can be applied for at-risk students before they begin to spiral downward (Adcock, 2009). This study was done to identify a relationship between the types of school structures and student achievement on the End of Course English test, End of Course mathematics test, student promotion, and on suspensions/expulsion rates. The sample population consisted of 824 at-risk freshman students. These students were from four high schools in the Midland of South Carolina, and the data represent two years of freshman academic achievement. Of the 824 at-risk students, 374 were from the Freshman Academy, and the remaining 450 were from traditional high school structures. English End of Course tests scores, mathematics End of Course Test scores, promotion rates, and suspension/expulsion rates between each population were compared using an ANCOVA and X[superscript 2] test. The results of the study were mixed in that the study did not show that gender had an impact on student achievement in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. For ELA there was a significant interaction between gender and Freshman Academy status. The effect of the Freshman Academy status depends on gender. For females, the Freshman Academy status had no effect (i.e., there was no difference in the performance of Freshman Academy females and non-Freshman Academy females), while it did for males (non-Freshman Academy males outperformed Freshman Academy males). In ELA, Freshman Academy status and race had an effect-the non-Freshman Academy students outperformed the Freshman Academy students and white students outperformed African American students. In mathematics, Freshman Academy status and race had an effect. The Freshman Academy students outperformed the non-freshman academy students. Other students outperformed white and African-American students; white students outperformed African-American students. There is a relationship between promotion status and Freshman Academy status. The promotion rate is higher for Freshman Academy students than for non-Freshman Academy students. The data did not indicate that the Freshman Academy status had an effect on the number of suspensions or the expulsion status. [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
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina