A Study of Factors that Contribute to Success at New Directions Alternative School


This study was designed to investigate school experiences as measured by attendance, behavior, and grades for students assigned to New Directions Academy, an alternative school for students expelled from the regular school environment. The focus was toward determination of which incoming student characteristics contributed to success at New Directions Academy. The study was conducted in Orange County, Florida, a large, urban school district. The population consisted of 174 students-who were returning to the regular school environment at the conclusion of the 1994-95 school year after being enrolled at New Directions Academy for a period of 6 months to 1 year. Data were collected primarily from records compiled by the district. Descriptive statistics were utilized to describe success at New Directions Academy, and success after returning to the regular school environment. Discriminant function analysis was utilized to determine the predictive value of incoming student characteristics. Analysis of data revealed: (a) The overall percentage of success as measured by attendance, behavior, and grades was low for students at New Directions Academy, particularly in the areas of attendance and grade point average; (b) follow-up data revealed a similarly low percentage of success for students after they had returned to the regular school environment; (c) the ability to predict success at New Directions Academy based on the knowledge of previous attendance, behavior, grade point average, reading level, mobility, home language, and socioeconomic status was statistically significant. The following conclusions were reached: (a) simple relocation of students to an alternative site will not in and of itself create an environment where formerly disruptive and unsuccessful students can succeed; (b) students assigned to alternative schools must undergo evaluation prior to their enrollment; (c) attendance is critical in ensuring success in an alternative school; (d) students who have successful school experiences prior to their assignment will likely experience success at the alternative setting and after returning to the regular school environment; (e) community-based projects increase the opportunity for success. Recommendations for further research are offered.


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Graduation Date





Bozeman, William C.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Services




155 p.



Length of Campus-only Access


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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




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

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