Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2013


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

James Henderson

Committee Member

James Ryland

Committee Member

Nancy Stankus


Academic, Attendance, Discipline, Retention, Success, Transition


The intent of this study was to investigate student perceptions of participation in a transition program the summer before their ninth grade year. Studies have shown that students who have an unsuccessful transition from middle school to high school are more likely to fail ninth grade, which may ultimately lead to dropping out of high school. However, the implementation of a transition program may help ease this transition and provide the student with the tools necessary to acclimate to the changes of the high school and be successful.

A purposive sample was comprised of eight students who participated in the transition program. Four of the students were male and four were female, with one gender representative from each grade level 9-12. The students were chosen to best represent the population of participants as a whole. The students chosen ranged in academic levels from average to gifted and two of the students were special education students.

The students were interviewed using open-ended questions allowing them to expound upon their thoughts and ideas. Students were asked the same questions regarding their perceptions on their participation in the program and their social interactions, academic, discipline, and attendance in high school. The interviews were also used to determine strengths and weaknesses of the program.

The results suggest that the students in this study felt that the program provided them with the tools to manage the layout of the new building reducing the likelihood of getting lost the first day of school. The students identified meeting the teachers prior to the start of school and making new friends or social relationships as benefits of the program. However, the students did not feel that their participation in the program had an impact on improving their academic achievement, reducing their discipline problems, or increasing their attendance. This was identified as a specific weakness of the program, but the students in this study did not have issues in these areas prior to participation.