Cultivating a successful transition – impact of a cohort-style transition program on ninth-grade students who have been placed at-risk
Archambeau, Aaron Bradford
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This case study analyzed the implementation of a cohort-style transition program aimed at improving the transition to high-school for students who have been placed at-risk by creating a learning environment more conducive to meeting each student’s individual needs. Research questions focused on understanding the extent to which the cohort structure impacted the learning environment for students who have been placed at-risk, evaluating the program’s impact on attendance, behavior, and academic achievement trends, and identifying how participating in an action research team affects the implementation of an intervention. This study employed action research through the facilitation of focus group sessions, examination of Likert-Scale and open-ended survey questions, and analysis of attendance, behavior, and academic achievement trends. Findings indicate the following: a cohort-style transition program might have a positive impact on the academic components of the learning environment but could lead to a higher frequency of non-academic issues; a cohort-style transition program might have a positive impact on academic achievement and attendance for students who have been placed at-risk; and participating in an action research team may allow team members the ability to identify and employ changes during implementation, resulting in a stronger intervention. Future research studies should consider conducting a longitudinal study, replicating this study while incorporating a student feedback component, and integrating more peer support activities.