Masters Thesis

Characteristics, qualities, and traits found among academically successful at-risk elementary students

This qualitative research study examines similar traits and characteristics found among academically successful at-risk elementary students in a rural elementary school setting. A sample population of fourteen 4th grade students who are all considered to be academically and socially at-risk, but nonetheless have succeeded in achieving academic success, were interviewed to identify common factors that helped them succeed in school. A researcher-made questionnaire consisting of fifteen questions was administered individually to each identified student. It was discovered that four common traits or factors were present for these academically successful at-risk elementary students. These factors included a fervent desire to devote all of their attention to learning while in the classroom setting, clear and high expectations for academic success set at home and school including specific expectations for classroom behavior and interaction, strong parental or family involvement with the subjects and their schoolwork, and having supportive teachers, school staff, and family members who help lead students into making their own discoveries about learning.