Effects of an after school instructional advisory program on the academic achievement of at-risk middle school students

During the Great Recession, which began in 2008, many school districts had to make significant cuts to their operating budgets. Some of these cuts such as eliminating after school programs, extracurricular activities, and summer school made it challenging for school districts to close the achievement gap. As the economy began to recover, the California Local Control Funding Formula was implemented to direct more funds into school districts with a large population of students with special needs and at-risk of failing academically. These additional funds which are budgeted as per the Local Control Accountability Plan require school districts to be held accountable for student achievement and progress. Implementing an after school program is one strategy for meeting the needs of at-risk students. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of an after school Instructional Advisory Program on the academic achievement of at-risk middle school students. The sample consisted of 25 seventh and eighth-grade students with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or below prior to participation. A paired sample t-test was used to determine if there was a significant change in overall GPA after one year of participation. The statistical significance was set at .05. The mean overall GPA after participation was significantly higher than the mean overall GPA prior to participation. The results of the statistical analysis suggest that participation in an after school Instructional Advisory Program may have a positive effect on the overall GPA of at-risk middle school students.