Thesis Title

Exploring the School-Within-A-School (SWAS) Model

Graduation Date

Spring 2002

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


In an effort to share the successes and challenges of modern day learning environments, Schools-Within-School programs are studied. The research has been examined to pinpoint instructional and organizational factors that lead to student success. Specifically studied are Schools- Within-School programs. A thorough reading of the research leads to the conclusion that Schools-Within-School programs are under-utilized yet reap in student success stories. Research indicates that successful School-Within-A-School programs share similar organizational models including a strong commitment from the school community (administration, teachers, students and parents/guardians) are theme based and are not "pilot projects". A review of the literature on student success, motivation and high school reform all acknowledge Schools-Within-School models as successful. Benefits to such programs include: an increase of graduation rates and post-secondary education, improved relationships between student and teacher, a sense of inclusion or belonging, lower instances of drug and alcohol abuse and a decrease in crime. Along with these benefits challenges arise including funding and program sustainability. Effective Schools-Within-School programs are typically referred to as small learning communities, academies, house schools, or tracks.

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