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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Dennis Brennan


This study investigated the effects of an intervention program on variables related to school performance in which ninth-grade high school students served as subjects. Variables that served as indicators of program effectiveness were (a) grade-point average (GPA); (b) proportions of students that attain 10th-grade status as measured by units of academic credit; (c) percent-correct scores on tests of academic skills in the areas of editing, mathematics, and reading; (d) rates of absence from classes; and (e) rates of referral for disciplinary action by teachers and administrators. Qualitative evidence of program effectiveness was secured through individual student interviews. The treatment consisted of an eight-week intervention program designed to assist all ninth-grade students in the transition from junior high school into high school. Program faculty presented six topics determined to be important to student success in high school. The treatment group consisted of 72 ninth-grade students who were matched with 72 control subjects on pretest measures of GPA and absence rate. Pretest measures of the dependent variables were taken from school records compiled during the first 10 weeks of the 9th-grade prior to student participation in the treatment program. Posttest measures of the dependent variables were taken from school records during the first full semester of the 9th-grade school year immediately following the treatment program and again during the first 12 weeks of the 10th-grade school year. Analyses of covariance demonstrated significant differences (p $<$.05) between the two groups for the first posttests of GPA and absence rates. Student interviews revealed that academic planning and improvement in study skills were the components of the treatment program that students considered most important to academic success. Results of this study provided empirical confirmation of the findings of previous research which indicated that high school intervention programs can positively affect GPA and attendance. The results also suggested that further gains in GPA and attendance might be promoted by increasing the length of the treatment program.



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