Thesis Title

Promoting Resilience in High Risk Students Attending Alternative High School Programs

Graduation Date

Spring 2003

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


Young people living in households without the support of caring adults and often subjected to a lifestyle that consists of poverty, violence and substance abuse will sometimes become apathetic, miss class, neglect homework, fail and get behind in credits. They become disheartened about the possibility of catching up and being able to graduate from high school.

Rural schools have their share of these at-risk students and because of limited funds, are unable to provide specialized programs such as counseling and remediation. Teachers are stretched to meet the needs of multiple subjects for a variety of academic levels. At-risk students can fall behind in school with little or no support available.

Many studies have been made of at-risk students that cite examples of programs and strategies to serve the at-risk population. The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of attending an alternative high school in promoting resiliency in students at-risk of school failure by asking the students themselves.

Participants for this study were randomly selected from a pool of graduates of an alternative program. Open ended questions encouraged participants to share attitudes and opinions about their education and what influenced their successful completion of a high school diploma. Interviews, coded for themes were analyzed in a narrative inquiry qualitative research style.

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