Four-year graduation rate


The purpose of this study was to determine which interventions were deemed to be effective at increasing the four-year graduation rate in Osceola District Schools. This had become a concern due to the fact that this rate had decreased in recent years, and may be utilized as a predictor of the dropout rate. The interventions were then prioritized according to Levin's cost-utility theory, so that the order of implementation could be prioritized. The study was conducted in January and February of 2005, and responses were elicited from 600 people. Students currently in Osceola District Schools high schools comprised 200 of this total, and 400 former Osceola District Schools high school students were also selected. The 600 people were randomly selected from directory information lists supplied by the school district. A questionnaire consisting of thirteen interventions that could be utilized to increase the four-year graduation rate was mailed to them a few days after an introductory letter was mailed. A letter enclosed with the questionnaire requested that they fill out and return the questionnaire in the enclosed return envelope. A postcard was mailed as a reminder to people that may not have responded to the letters, and had not yet filled out the questionnaire. Returned questionnaires were then used to calculate mean effectiveness ratings. Of the 600 questionnaires mailed, 154 were returned, and 123 contained no non-responses, and were therefore usable for this study. The order in which the cost-utility in the study prioritized the implementation of the thirteen interventions was: Offer three-year diploma options. Have mentors available for students, with a mentor for every 100 students. Have ten percent more seats for academy/ magnet/ vocational programs. Offer a diploma option that removes the FCAT graduation requirement. Offer a diploma option that removes the Algebra I graduation requirement. Offer a diploma option that lowers the 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) graduation requirement on a four point scale to a 1.9 GPA. Offer a diploma option that removes the FCAT Algebra I and GPA graduation requirements. High school classes should have a maximum of 25 students Grades four to eight classes should have a maximum of 22 students Kindergarten to third grade classes should have a maximum of 18 students. Schools larger than 500 students should be divided into smaller learning units, such as schools-within-a-school. Free quality preschool should be provided. Guidance counselors should be available, with one for every 100 students. Four of the items would require statute changes before they could be implemented. They were the interventions that concerned GPA, Algebra I, and the FCAT graduation requirements. The items were prioritized because fiscal constraints may not permit all of the interventions to be implemented, and the interventions that yielded the greatest improvement in four-year graduation rate per unit cost were to be implemented first.


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Graduation Date





Murray, Barbara A.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership








Release Date

August 2015

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)