Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Doug Eury

Second Advisor

David Shellman

Abstract

The schools in Union County have undergone a tremendous amount of growth in the past decade. The growth in the county has led to an increase in discipline problems. In order to provide suspended students a second chance, Union County Public Schools implemented an alternative to suspension program, the Union County Alternative to Suspension Program (UCATS). The UCATS Program provides students suspended for 2 to 10 days the opportunity to earn attendance credit by performing community service in local business agencies in Union County.

The researcher conducted a program evaluation using archival and survey data to answer the research questions: (1) To what extent does the Union County Alternative to Suspension Program (UCATS) fulfill the seven objectives of the program; (2) What are the perceptions of the students, stakeholders, administrators, teachers, parents, and community partners of the UCATS Program as related to the desired outcomes; and (3) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UCATS Program?

The researcher surveyed and examined historical documents archival data pertaining to students participating in the UCATS Program. The researcher also surveyed teachers, administrators, counselors, and parents of students who were in the program, the UCATS staff and community/business agency supervisors.

The research results indicated that the UCATS Program did not fulfill two of the seven objectives. Students' grades declined after they participated in the program and there was an increase in crime for 4 years and then there was a decrease. The students, parents, and administrators ranked UCATS as the most effective alternative to suspension program. Teachers ranked Saturday detention as the most effective alternative to suspension program.

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