Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Brad Swofford


The transition to high school is a pivotal time for freshmen. Recognition of the importance of the ninth grade year and establishing freshmen transition programs are critical in addressing the nation’s declining graduation rates. The purpose of this study was to investigate the practices, programs, or interventions used in Missouri to assist freshmen in making a successful transition to high school. For this research, all high school principals across the state were given the opportunity to contribute to the study. There were 183 schools, both public and nonpublic, that responded to the survey. From the data, 60.1% of Missouri high schools currently have a freshmen transition practice in place. Format analysis led to the conclusion that a multi-dimensional approach to the transition of freshmen was perceived as more successful than a single-practice approach. The impact of freshmen transition practices on attendance and graduation rates was unable to be determined due to the fact 78.1% of all the practices currently in place were reported to have been implemented within the last five years.


Copyright 2009