Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
According to a recent report from the National Center for Educational Statistics, approximately 20% of the United States' high-school aged population is at risk of dropping out of high school, an outcome that strongly limits participation in economic and educational opportunities. The importance of earning a high school diploma has increased many local districts' efforts to close graduation gaps across the student population. Accordingly, this study evaluated a recuperative environmental leadership and service (EL&S) program in a northwestern local district to ascertain its effectiveness in providing at-risk students the personal and academic support required for high school graduation. Following the logic model program theory, this study examined the program's effectiveness in redirecting off-track students by comparing on time (4 year) and extended-time (> 4 years) graduation rates of at-risk students who did participate (n = 96) and did not participate (n = 76) in the EL&S. Through an ANCOVA, the 4 year and extended graduation rates, 68.3% and 89.1%, respectively, were analyzed and found to be higher than the on-time and extended-time graduation rates for the local district, 65.8% and 68.5%. Results indicated that the EL&S does statistically increase the participants' likelihood of graduating from high school. These findings illustrate the utility of EL&S interventions for at-risk students who have experienced multiple indicators of educational failure. Replication or adaptation of this EL&S program could provide social change benefits to educational stakeholders seeking to close the graduation gap; to families seeking educative and personal support for at-risk students; and to struggling students desiring to contribute to the economic, educative, and social growth of their community.
McFarland, Roberta Harlow, "The Evaluation of an Environmental Leadership and Service Program's Effectiveness" (2014). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 43.