Date Awarded

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Megan Tschannen-Moran

Committee Member

Leslie Grant

Committee Member

Kyung-Hee Kim


The purpose of this mixed-methods study is to evaluate the impact of Morrison High School’s ninth grade transition program, the Freshman Academy, on student outcomes. Based on the outcomes, decisions will be made to determine if the Freshman Academy is meeting students’ needs or if the program elements need to be revisited to improve student achievement. Participants included teachers, school counselors, and administrators at Morrison High School in southeastern Virginia. The study employed the product component of the CIPP model of program evaluation to guide the data collection and to determine the merit, worth, and significance of the program. Quantitative data were collected using student outcome data based on GPA, attendance rates, number of discipline referrals, pass rates on Virginia Standards of Learning End of Course tests, and credits earned. Qualitative data were collected based on teacher, school counselor, and administrator interviews. Successes and challenges of the program as well as areas of recommended improvement are detailed in this study. Analysis of student outcome data revealed that students participating in the program are consistently meeting the benchmark intended outcomes for attendance, discipline, and credits earned and most students are passing the Algebra I and World Geography SOLs during the last year included in this study. Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the program elements can only assist teams in providing stronger transition programs to help students achieve the intended outcomes. Recommendations for future research and program improvement include collaboration between the Freshman Academy teachers and administrators with the eighth grade teachers and administrators at the feeder middle schools, developing a summer bridge program to target at-risk students, and increasing parental involvement and seeking their feedback on the Freshman Academy.




© The Author