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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Edward Pohlman


A three week orientation program was compared with a control program at a California continuation high school. Method. Every three weeks during the first semester of the 1989-90 school year students new to the school were randomly assigned either to take a three week orientation class as part of their five period schedule (n = 88) or a minimal two-hour session only (n = 66). Dependent variables were in five areas: school attendance, student productivity, involvement in career related programs, student citizenship, and perceptions and knowledge related to school adjustment. These yielded 16 specific DV's. Findings. Of the five areas of predicted differences, the first three were not supported, the fourth seemed supported, and the fifth partially so. Five of 16 null hypotheses were rejected: controls had significantly (p $<$.05) more students referred to the principal for discipline and days suspended; and experimentals showed higher perceptions of knowledge of the school's system, tested familiarity with that system, and familiarity with staff names and roles. Conclusions. It appears that the three week orientation program had some positive effect on student citizenship, on perceived knowledge, on tested knowledge, and on familiarity with staff names and roles. Four variables dealt with citizenship: number of students referred for discipline was significant but total number of referrals was not, and total days of suspension was significant but number of students suspended was not. Interpretation. (a) multiple staff involvement in the orientation program affected tested knowledge of staff names and the discipline and suspension variables; (b) information taught about the school system affected tested and perceived knowledge about it; and (c) increased knowledge of the school's system did not appear to affect attendance, productivity, or career involvement.



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