Date of Award

Fall 12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Research

Committee Chair

Dr. David E. Lee

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Dr. Gary Peters

Committee Member 3

Dr. James T. Johnson

Committee Member 4

Dr. Gaylynn Parker

Abstract

Many school districts throughout the United States utilize alternative schools for students who have not been successful in a traditional school setting. The Phoenix Program is a second chance alternative school in Mobile, Alabama that provides educational opportunities to students who are at risk of dropping out or school or under a long-term suspension from a regular school program.

This study was conducted to determine the perceptions of the effectiveness of the Phoenix Program on students who have been suspended from their assigned school for a long term. Participants in this study included 36 principals and assistant principals, 30 students, 18 parents, and 17 staff members. The participants indicated their perceptions of the effectiveness of the Phoenix Program by responding to questions on a survey which utilized a Likert Scale. Statistical data was also collected on students who attended the Phoenix Program during the years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007.

Using data obtained from the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services of the Mobile County Public School System, an analysis was conducted to determine the number of students who showed a decrease in discipline referrals, avoided further suspensions, and graduated from high school with a diploma. A one-way ANOVA was also conducted to determine if there was a significant difference among students' who attended the Phoenix Program, the parents of students who attended the Phoenix Program, Phoenix Program staff members', and principals' and assistant principals' perceptions of the effectiveness of the Phoenix Program.

This study indicated that the majority of the students who attended the Phoenix Program graduated from high school with a diploma. The study also indicated that most students showed a decrease in discipline referrals but more than half of the students were suspended from school again. After conducting the one-way ANOVA it was concluded that there was a significant difference among current students, the parents of current students, staff members, and principals and assistant principals.