Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Long

Second Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom


The purpose of this study was to examine the potential effects a freshman transition program has on high school success rates. Results could provide the basis for freshman transfer strategies and help academic success following the No Child Left Behind mandate. The research question asked was: Did program complexity have an impact on the success of freshman students, measured by number of failing grades, percentage of discipline referrals assigned, and attendance rates? To answer the question, the researcher studied three homogenous high schools in the greater St. Louis area. These three freshman transition programs varied in complexity provided for incoming students. The length of study was over four academic years, from 2009 through 2013. There were three hypothesis studied in order to determine if the complexity of the freshman transition programs had an effect on performance outcomes for incoming students, with regards to attendance, number of discipline referrals and failing grades. A combined statement of the hypotheses is: The attendance rate, discipline referral rate, and grade point averages are different between the most complex (East High School), less complex (South High School), and the least complex (West High School) programs and between the pre-to-post comparisons of the most complex (East High School) program. In this study, the data did not support significant changes in the student outcomes of attendance rates, discipline referral rates, nor failing grade rates, for each of the three high schools studied, East, West, and South, despite the varying levels of complexity in the freshman transition program implemented at each school iii No significant differences were established through use of ANOVA, Chi Square tests for Independence, and z-tests for difference in proportions applied to secondary data generated by the three schools through the years 2009 to 2013.


Copyright 2015