Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
This study used a qualitative approach to explore a rural school district’s freshman academy program through parent and staff member perspectives using Stufflebeam’s (2003) CIPP model of program evaluation. Interviews and questionnaire data provided information to answer the following research questions.
1. Context: What is the context within which the freshman academy program was developed and implemented?
2. Input: What alternative resources are available to enhance the structure of the freshman academy program?
3. Process: How are the objectives of the freshman academy program aligned with improving student attendance, academic performance, and promotion?
4. Product: What are the perceptions of parents and school staff members regarding the impact of the freshman academy on student success?
Through qualitative research, the researcher examined parent and school staff member perceptions of the freshman academy program in the school district studied. Qualitative methods such as questionnaires, interviews, and interview groups involving a former secondary director, current school staff members, and parent stakeholders were used to collect data. Using qualitative methods allowed the researcher to gather data regarding the perspectives of freshman academy stakeholders. Each questionnaire was summarized by responses given to multiple choice responses, rank order questions, and free response questions. Data from the questionnaires are displayed in chart form in Chapter 4. Interview data were coded for common themes that surfaced in responses. Data from the interviews are displayed in narrative form in Chapter 4.
Based on data from the school staff member questionnaire and interview groups, respondents from each of the three schools in the school district studied provided varying responses with regard to the overall effectiveness of their school’s freshman academy. The majority of respondents from School A and School B are either unsure or believe that the freshman academy at their respective schools does not promote student success beyond the ninth grade. Respondents from School C overwhelmingly believe their freshman academy promotes student success beyond the ninth grade, thus meeting their targeted need.
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Morehead, Dustin, "Exploring a Rural School District’s Freshman Academy Program through Parent and Staff Member Perspectives" (2018). Education Dissertations and Projects. 374.