Alternative school success factors : a program evaluation of PACE Center for Girls, Inc


Education -- Florida, Problem youth -- Florida, PACE Center for Girls Inc


The purpose of this study was to profile the procedural and instructional components of 17 Practical Academic Cultural Education (PACE) Centers in Florida, comparing them with those associated with traditional high schools and to identify the factors associated with their success. Of primary focus were the success of enrolled high school students while attending the program, the extent to which students were successful after leaving the program, and the program components that contributed to their success. The research design was a descriptive, non-experimental, multi-site case study involving the 17 PACE Centers in existence during the 1999-2000 school year. Surveys, a review of archival records, interviews, and site visitations were the methods used to collect data. The researcher modified three existing survey instruments for use in this study which were mailed to participants. The instruments were designed to gather demographic information about the participants, information about the procedural and instructional components of the PACE Centers, and information on student satisfaction with the program. Results of the study indicated that the following components contributed to the success of the program: (a) a selective admission policy, (b) small class size, (c) a caring environment and staff, (d) an extended academic year, (e) a comprehensive therapeutic component, and (f) a gender-separate, gender-specific philosophy that has resulted in the development and implementation of a unique curriculum. Recommendations for developing alternative programs for girls were to design programs that allow for flexibility in terms of structure and application, so as to personalize the program to fit the needs of the student population, and to establish an environment that differs from that is which some students have not flourished. Additionally, it was recommended that those designing alternative programming for girls consider incorporating components associated with success in PACE Centers.


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Graduation Date



Lynn, Mary Ann


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology and Leadership





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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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