Author(s)

Katie SmithFollow

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Judy Shoemaker

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, Educational Psychology; Education, Secondary; Education, Sociology of

Keywords

At-Risk Students, Ninth Grade Transition, Summer School, Transition

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology

Abstract

This causal-comparative study sought to identify the effects of attending a summer school transition program and students' grade levels (seventh v. eighth v. ninth) on students' grades (based on course failures), attendance (based on students' absences), and behavior (based on number of behavioral office referrals). The students who participated in this study were identified as at-risk during one of three educational transitions: from elementary school to middle school, between seventh and eighth grade in the middle school, and from middle school to high school. As part of their elementary school to middle school, intra-middle school, or middle school to high school transition program, students in the treatment group participated in a three-week summer program with academic classes in math, reading, and science, which their upcoming grade-level teacher taught. The goals of the summer transition program include familiarizing students with new academic structures and teacher expectations as well as previewing curriculum material for the upcoming school year. In order to compare the groups' data, the researcher used the chi-square analysis. While there was no change in students' grades or behavior related to participation in the summer transition program, statistically significant relationships did exist between grade level and attendance for eight and ninth grade students, as well as students who did not attend the summer school transition program. Grade level did not have a significant impact on the change in students' grades or behavior from one year to the next.