This study examined program completion and student motivation among students within one particular alternative education high school program. Exiting students of the program are expected to have done so within 65 days. Based on the most recent student exit date prior to this study, only 18 of 29 students successfully completed the program within 65 days. Surveys were given to determine the motivational levels of the students failing to exit within the expected timeframe. A low level of motivation was determined for students failing to exit the program within 65 days. A six week intervention, known as Better Alternative, was implemented to increase student motivation and improve the numbers of students completing the program within the expected 65 days. This intervention included student mentors and motivational speakers, as well as lessons seeking to improve academic skills and enablers.
The site for this proposed project is a small, alternative high-school located on the west side of a school district in the central Florida area. The student enrollment of 30 includes 53% European American, 30% African American, and 17% Latin American. The teaching faculty includes 50% African American, 25% European American, and 25% Latin American. Of the 30 students at the site school, 43% receive free/reduced lunch, 27% receive services in the Exceptional Student (ESE) programs, and 10% receive services in the reading improvement program, Reading 180.
Students in the alternative program are expected to complete the program within 65 school days. In December, 2005, 29 students completed the program. Of these exiting students, only 62% (18) finished within 65 days. Since all students are expected to complete the program within the stated time frame, there was a 32% discrepancy (11 students). To determine the motivational levels of students failing to exit the program within 65 days, students will be given a survey.
Table 1. Sixty-five day... [continues]
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