Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Phyllis Hensley

Second Committee Member

Stephen Davis

Third Committee Member

Robert Watt

Fourth Committee Member

Mari Irvin


Studies of female at-risk students have proved minimal with specific regard to those leaving the comprehensive high school in order that they may attend alternative programs. Research on related literature concerning the history of education in the United States, effective instructional practices, appropriate grade level curriculum, school structure and climate, and at-risk students with emphasis on the female gender was examined. Studies were also completed using survey instruments and focused interviews involving students enrolled at three continuation high schools in northern California. Students responded that attendance and low academic performance influenced their decision to leave the comprehensive high school. Other factors affecting: their enrollment included large class size, lack of teacher instructional support, mismatch of student ability to courses in which they were enrolled, and an insufficient offering of courses and extra curricular options that were attractive to them. Students did acknowledge that they were encouraged to do their best by teachers at the continuation high school. Easily established friendships was a second positive reflection of participants. Recommendations for instructional application and future research are included within the dissertation. The research of this study focused on site controlled factors which influenced female students' decision to discontinue their education at the comprehensive high school in favor of an alternative educational program. The findings of this research, therefore, is under the control of both educators and policymakers and very much in the realm of direct influence. Educational leaders are encouraged to review these findings for consideration in refining school practices and decisions for restructuring school design.




9780599689107 , 0599689102

To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.

Find in PacificSearch Find in ProQuest



If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email