An understanding of what factors or combination of factors that may inspire an at-risk student to earn a high school diploma and further pursue their education is important to meeting the needs of diverse students. The knowledge of interventions, strategies, supports and experiences that positively influence a student who is placed at-risk to persevere and attain academic success will positively influence graduation rates in school districts that have a large at-risk student population. This research embarked knowledge and understanding of how school districts may implement programs that positively influence at-risk students through a qualitative study of high school faculty perceptions of students enrolled in career preparatory programs.
Qualitative methods were used to understand the motivation and self-efficacy that develops in students placed at-risk to graduate within four years of high school. Social cognitive career and social capital theories were used to frame the research to incorporate all factors that may impact students’ decision to remain in school. The results of the study generated a clearer understanding of the process by which students decide to remain in their enrolled career academy program and graduate within four years. The results identified the interventions, strategies and supports that were most impactful at engaging student learning. Four themes emerged of how students are motivated to remain in school and develop self-efficacy within context of their select career pathway. The study provided evidence that at-risk students enrolled in a career preparation program that is engaging with real world application with positive cultural and social experiences that build social capital were perceived to be more motivational, allowed for the development of self-efficacy within their desired career industry, and better prepared students for their desired career industry and post-secondary education. The participants reported that the strategies in place (interventions, support, etc.) enhanced student engagement and had positive effects on student behavior.
|Commitee:||Woodson Reed, Kamila, Williams, Dawn, Rodriguez, Cristobal, Grillo, Lisa, Dixon, Davis|
|Department:||Educational Leadership & Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Secondary education, Vocational education, Educational evaluation, Educational psychology, Educational administration|
|Keywords:||Career Academy Programs, Dropouts, Students Placed At-risk|
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