The purpose of this mixed-methodology study was to examine whether Personalized Student Learning Plans (PSLPs) could reduce at-risk students' academic and social dysfunction. At-risk students were referred to Intervention & Referral Services (I&RS) and PSLPs were used to develop a personal plan for progress. Data sources included interviews, focus groups with the I&RS committee, an online survey to teachers and parents, and a review of student archival data. The data sources were used to address three research questions: (1) What factors would make Personalized Student Learning Plans (PSLPs) successful? (2) What role do Personal Adult Advocates (PAAs) play with regard to a) developing PSLPs, b) involving students and c) teachers' implementing the plans? and (3) When implemented, will PSLPs improve students' psycho-social development and academic achievement?
Research yielded three conclusive findings. (1) All stakeholders must support the personal accommodations and school services provided to students in order for PSLPs to be successful. Personal accommodations and school services included: a) seat location; b) extra time to complete assignments; c) extra help from teachers; d) input from school staff; e) class assignment modifications; f) counseling for students; and g) the use of daily planners to provide evidence of assigned class and homework. (2) Student mentors or Personal Adult Advocates (PAAs) were essential to providing at-risk students with at least one adult within the school community with whom they could connect. The relationship developed between a student and his/her PAA was an indicator of students' connection to the school environment and consequently the student's overall success. Effective PAAs exhibited the following characteristics: open-minded and positive; non-confrontational; encouraging and supportive; and had an honest and sincere concern for kids. (3) When implemented as intended, PSLPs can successfully combat student academic and social dysfunction. As students make academic improvements, self-esteem develops and positive social interactions increase.
|Commitee:||Barrett, Thomas C., Crews, John, Neigel, Keith|
|School:||College of Saint Elizabeth|
|School Location:||United States -- New Jersey|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||School counseling, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||At risk, Intervention, Personalized Student Learning Plans, Referral|
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