Although the public school has made great strides in making its vision of education for all a reality, 13.8% of the students continue to stumble in their pursuit of a high school diploma and 4.2% ultimately fail in this pursuit (Dalton, Ingels, & Fritch, 2015; “Public high school graduation rates,” 2016). This phenomenological study explores the lived experiences of students who initially chose to drop out of high school but chose to later re-enroll in a non-traditional setting. The purpose of this study was to find commonalities among the experiences of the participants to shed light on the essence of the phenomenon. This study included interviews with 30 non-traditional high school students and three staff members of a non-traditional high school. Three global themes emerged: 1) students were academically behind and over-age yet began to have feelings of hopefulness after attending the non-traditional high school, 2) students appreciate the supportive environment fostered at the non-traditional high school yet feel they are more independent and in control of their educational journey, and 3) students make more academic progress in the non-traditional setting yet continue to struggle to complete the requirements, specifically in mathematics, for high school graduation. The essence as revealed through this study is that students who choose to leave high school do so for academic, social and emotional, and familial reasons. However, these students also understand the benefits of earning a high school diploma. Therefore, they have chosen to re-enroll in a setting where they can use the knowledge they have gained through life experiences to help them complete their educational journey.
|Commitee:||Cantrell, Martha, Gnecco, Don|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Georgia|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Education, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||Dropout prevention, Graduation requirements, Non-traditional high school|
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