Date of Award

Fall 11-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Second Advisor

Dr. Graham Weir

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare three groups: JROTC students, student athletes, and other students, to determine if there were differences in academic achievement. Gaining an understanding of the necessary skills required to become academically successful and make healthy life choices, could provide educators working within an urban environment insight for student success. The study was conducted within a Midwest urban high school in which, 98.5% of the students were African American. Student performance data in the areas of reading and math for the past three years had been trending downward and caused the high school to be placed in a negative performance status. To investigate the possible difference between 11th-grade students in terms of academic achievement and perceptions of leadership skills and citizenship traits, the researcher utilized a mixed methodology design. Participants with similar GPAs were identified from the total 11th-grade population and 30 student participants from each of the three student groups were randomly selected. A comparison of the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) and ACT assessment results, in addition to self-perceptions of leadership and citizenship traits through a Likert-scale survey were examined. Questionnaires were given to a random sample of 10 participants from each of the three student groups to gain a deeper understanding of the perceptions and attitudes of the participants. An ANOVA and z-test for difference in means was conducted, as necessary, on each of the three PSAE assessment areas. The open-ended questionnaires were coded and analyzed to uncover categories and themes, which provided further insight into student self-perceptions of their leadership and citizenship skills. iii The results of this study did not support a significant difference in academic achievement using standardized assessments measured by the PSAE, between 11th-grade JROTC students, student athletes, and other students. The statistical analysis for the Leadership Skills Inventory and the Citizenship Scale, resulted in a lack of support by data for a significant difference in student perceptions of their leadership Skills, defined and measured by the Leadership Skills Inventory, and the Citizenship Scale, between the three groups of 11th-grade students.

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