Thesis Title

The Effect of Small Learning communities on Academic Success: One School's Journey from Comprehensive to Personalized

Graduation Date

Fall 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD


Many schools are starting Small Learning Communities yet much is unknown about their outcomes. Students are literally disappearing in comprehensive high schools and violence has escalated. Those who implement Small Learning Communities are looking to combat these problems. While rarely feasible to split large schools into smaller schools, it is plausible, as we have seen, to create smaller communities within the schools that reach out and individualize the material, with high expectations for learning that lessen the chance for students to fall between the cracks. This study aims to find out if Small Learning Communities have an effect on students’ academic success. Are high schools students more engaged in classes as a result of being part of a small learning community? This is a case study of a large public high school in a suburb of San Francisco, California. The data is from the 2006 to 2007 school year, previous to the implementation of Small Learning Communities and is compared against data from the 2009 to 2010 school year, during which Small Learning Communities were in place to see if success is different once SLCs are put into place.

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