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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Phyllis Hensley

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Stephen Davis

Third Committee Member

Louis Wildman


Attendance in our nation's schools continues to decline. It is necessary for schools to expand their programs and strategies to improve student attendance. Incentives and rewards for excellent attendance have had positive results in studies researched, but little has been done to research the relationship between changes in attendance and implemented incentive programs. This quantitative study examined the effects of extrinsic rewards on high school student attendance at two separate schools. The first part of the study enabled a chance to win a daily cash prize with value based upon the number of students successfully attending all day. Changes in attendance in the current school year versus the previous school year were measured and analyzed. The second part of the study compared attendance and student attitudes between two comprehensive high schools, where one school represented the treatment group and other the control group. Attendance performance criteria were established that would allow students the chance to earn extrinsic rewards at the end of the first semester of school. Changes in attendance in the current school year versus the previous school year were measured and analyzed. An analysis between change in attendance, school GPA, and student GPA was performed for each school and compared. Finally, a longitudinal study was performed using surveys at each school to measure any changes in student attitudes related to (a) reasons for attending school, (b) interest in school, and (c) satisfaction with school. The null hypotheses were there is no statistically significant relationship between the use of rewards for excellent attendance and (a) the average daily attendance of students, (b) their grade point averages, (c) their motivation to attend, or (d) their interest and satisfaction in the school experience. Results of the first study showed that the change in attendance between school years was statistically significant. While the second showed statistically significant increases in attendance at both schools, the additional increase at the treatment school was also significant. No significant relationship was found between the use of rewards for attendance and school GPA, student GPA, motivation to attend, or the interest and satisfaction in the school experience.




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