Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Terry Stewart

Second Advisor

Dr. Jeff Beiswinger

Third Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom


Research on freshman transition programs suggests the need for a transition program that assists students as they enter high school. Many freshman transition programs consist of a visit from the high school counselors or a tour of the school. These programs do not help meet the needs of many students who will need constant support throughout the school year. The study school implemented a freshman transition program to help meet the needs of students academically and emotionally. The purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of a freshman transition program would make a difference in student success in high school, as measured by improved attendance, improved grades in all subjects, a decrease in discipline referrals, and a decrease in dropout rate. The school district of study established four building goals to; a) increase student attendance and grade point average, b) decrease dropout rate and student disciplines, c) create a positive school climate, and d) expand leadership roles and opportunities for students. To meet these goals, the district implemented a freshman transition program. The data was collected during a five year span, from the 2003 school year through 2008 school year. At the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year, a freshman transition program was implemented by the school district. During the previous school years, the district did not have a transition program in place. District records from the school of study were examined for office referrals, student grades, attendance, and dropout rates. The means of the study groups were compared using a z-test. The results from this study found that a freshman transition program showed improvement only in student dropout rate. In the second year of implementation, the school of study had zero dropouts. Attendance rates, grades, and discipline rates did not show improvement. The researcher suggests that the freshman transition program be reviewed after the program has been in place for several school years.


Copyright 2010