An Examination of the Effectiveness of the 30/30 Program on High School Students' Academic Performance, Attendance, Behavior and On-Time Graduation
King, Nardos Eleanor
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In recent years, many at-risk high school students are showing minimal academic achievement. At-risk students in the United States have been described as a population that needs proper guidance and attention (Ladson-Billings, 2006). The purpose of this mixed methods study was to assess the effectiveness of the 30/30 Program in increasing students academic achievement, school attendance, behavior, and on-time graduation rate (4 years). The 30/30 Program is a mentoring program that was developed by the principal of a public high school. The 30/30 Program was staffed by five adults who worked with 30 at-risk students from the beginning of their sophomore year until graduation, i.e., 30 months. The program was designed to help at-risk students increase their chances of graduating on time. Academic performance (Grade Point Average), school attendance, behavior, and graduation data were collected from freshman year to senior year. The study utilized a longitudinal, non-experimental research design to determine whether the group who participated in the 30/30 Program had greater improvements in academic performance, school attendance, behavior, and graduation rate than a group of 20 at-risk students who were eligible for the program but did not participate. No significant differences in the groups were found in the academic performance or attendance records at baseline (freshman year) or in any of the three subsequent years. While the intervention group had high baseline behavior incidents (38) compared to the comparison group (6), the number modulated in the following two years to 19 and 23, respectively, and ended lower for the senior year (4). After the baseline year, the comparison group had similar numbers of behavior incidents to those of the intervention group. The graduation rate was not significantly different for the groups. While the results were disappointing, it may be that the intervention group's high number of behavior incidents at baseline indicates a group at greater risk for academic performance than the comparison group who may have achieved and attended more readily even without the help of the 30/30 Program.
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