Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mary Hallums


School leaders at an urban public high school implemented the Check and Connect (C&C) program to improve student engagement outcomes for at-risk students in 2010-2011. No formal program evaluation of C&C had been conducted in the 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 school years to show whether the program was effective. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between successful school completion and participation in the C&C program. A quantitative, quasi-experimental program evaluation was conducted to determine whether C&C's student-related variables including cohort, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and truancy predicted students' successful school completion. Archival data of students eligible for graduation (N = 668) were analyzed using chi square tests and logistic regression. Results showed that the model, including C&C participation and all student-related variables, was significant in explaining the variance for successful school completion. Follow-up analyses revealed that C&C participation for the 2013 graduation cohort only, females, and low truancy students were significantly more likely to complete school, suggesting a need for further investigation of the program's implementation strategy. An evaluation report was developed with recommendations to evaluate C&C for implementation fidelity and to consider the use of observable indicators to recruit students for C&C participation who may require targeted or intensive interventions for successful school completion. This endeavor may contribute to positive social change by informing stakeholders of C&C's effectiveness, helping leaders make future decisions about how to approach program implementation and evaluation, and increasing successful school completion.