Thesis

The value of an independent study program on the academic performance of military dependent students at risk for becoming high school dropouts

The value of an independent study program on the academic performance of military dependent students at risk for becoming high school dropouts is reflected in a study of an existing school in southern California. Military dependent students are at risk of not completing high school because they have "dropped out" of traditional high school based on academic, and/or behavioral/emotional problems, or have chosen to leave traditional high school because they move from state to state and find it difficult to maintain the integrity of the state standards for core curriculum as they move. A qualitative case study/ethnography reviews the academic and social adjustment of twelve students. Transcripts, family dynamics, ethnicity and school experiences are profiled to determine the value of an independent study program in support of transient student education in an effort to help students attain high school graduation. Although one in five (20%) of all school age children move each year, and the challenges can be extrapolated across all populations, this study looks at military dependent students. Families in California are more mobile due to career changes, migrant "follow the crop" lifestyles, and military movement; yet, traditional educational delivery in grades K-12 has not changed to accommodate lifestyle changes, putting high school graduation at risk. KEYWORDS: at risk behavior, charter schools, high school dropouts, independent study programs, military students, transient students.

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