Andrea IrvinFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Gary Kuhne

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Secondary; Education, Tests and Measurements; Education, Curriculum and Instruction


Ninth Grade Academy, Self-Efficacy, Small Learning Community, Traditional Comprehensive High School


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods


The purpose of this quantitative causal-comparative study was to explore the effect of Ninth Grade Academies as Small Learning Communities as an approach to further student success in comparison to Traditional Comprehensive High School structures in the state of Georgia. This study sought to determine if students who attended a Ninth Grade Academy as a Small Learning Community during their freshman year had a higher rate of attendance, increased student achievement as measured by the Georgia End of Course Test scores in Ninth Grade Literature and Ninth Grade Algebra I, and a higher Graduation Rate in comparison to students who did not attend a Ninth Grade Academy, but rather a Traditional Comprehensive High School configuration during the school year of 2007-2008. For all dependent variables that were used to measure achievement for the research questions: Graduation Rate, attendance, and End of Course Tests in Ninth Grade Literature and Ninth Grade Algebra I, there was a significant statistical difference between the two groups. For all research questions, the results indicated the Traditional Comprehensive High Schools measured higher percentages in Graduation Rate, End of Course Tests, and attendance than the Ninth Grade Academies.