School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Clarence Holland

Primary Subject Area

Education, Administration


Fresman, Transition


This study focused on the successes and challenges small school (school population between 300-900 students) administrators and teachers experienced when designing, implementing, and sustaining their ninth-grade transition programs. The purpose of this study was to add valuable insight to the knowledge that currently existed for the development and implementation of freshman transition programs. This study identified common and unique elements in the implementation designs of transition programs in four small high schools in the state of Virginia. Fifty-two teachers were surveyed and the four high school principals completed their questionnaires. Significant differences were noted in the years of teaching experience of teachers in the freshman transition program and the use of a focused study hall during school hours. Results indicated that high school teams developing a freshman transition program should include teachers in the planning process, pre- high-school activities for the incoming freshmen, the availability of catch-up courses, academic interventions, improving communication gaps, using data to monitor student achievement.