Vulnerable students throughout the United States enroll in alternative schools as a dropout prevention effort; however, due to the lack of clarity and purpose for these schools, the effectiveness of alternative education is often criticized by researchers and educational reporters. The intent of this study was to investigate successful alternative school programs in California, i.e., continuation high schools, and identify promising practices that supported a positive school climate. Using a qualitative case-study, this research investigated three model continuation schools by conducting principal, counselor, and teacher interviews, as well as field observations and analysis of school documents to better understand the practices and strategies used to support a positive school climate. Major findings included a climate that was founded in hope in all three of the schools studied. Other major findings of this research that were bound in hope include effective leadership, structures that provide pathways to graduation, strong relationships, advocacy for the program, and a clear purpose for the schools. The implications of this research include recommendations for states, counties, school districts, and school sites to provide purpose and support for alternative schools, equitable funding, professional development for alternative settings, rigor in accelerated learning, as well as purposeful hiring for alternative settings.
|Advisor:||Tucker, Janice L.|
|Commitee:||Arriaga, Trudy T., Castro, Antonio A.|
|School:||California Lutheran University|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational administration, Secondary education, Continuing education|
|Keywords:||Alternative education, Continuing education centers, Dropout prevention, Evening and continuation schools, Free schools, High school dropouts|
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