Date of Award

Summer 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Noal Cochran

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. David Lee

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Richard Mohn

Committee Member 4 School



This mixed-methods study sought to explore student and staff perspectives on what led students to return to or remain in DAEPs for longer than they were assigned. The researcher reviewed literature related to the history of alternative education programs, placement policies, and alternative school practices. This researcher obtained permission from two schools in a rural county in a southern state. Qualtrics was used to collect all quantitative data. Data was collected using questionnaires and focus groups. The quantitative component of this study was employed so that students could maintain anonymity and honestly respond without feeling pressured or intimidated. Student data was used to design questions for the qualitative portion of research which staff participated in. Focus groups were used so that multiple perspectives could be obtained in minimal sessions, while also allowing participants to guide the discussion with their responses. Overall data revealed that students remained in disciplinary alternative education programs longer than their assigned time because the program was beneficial for them, either academically or behaviorally.

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