The Achievement Gap: Effects of a Resilience-based After School Program on Indicators of Academic Achievement

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Title: The Achievement Gap: Effects of a Resilience-based After School Program on Indicators of Academic Achievement
Author: Nears, Kennard
Advisors: Stanley B. Baker, Committee Member
Edwin R. Gerler, Jr., Committee Co-Chair
Sylvia Nassar-McMillan, Committee Co-Chair
Mary E. Haskett, Committee Member
Abstract: The present study examined the Wake County Super Opportunities with After-School Resources (SOAR) after-school program to determine its effectiveness concerning students' academic success. One thousand two hundred and four SOAR participants, including those students who were asked to attend, but did not, and 18,407 Wake County students who had not attended SOAR participated in the study using their End of Course (EOC) actual and expected scores. It was hypothesized that: (1) students involved with the SOAR after-school program would perform significantly better than students not involved with the program; (2) greater attendance in the SOAR after-school program would produce significant gains in academic achievement; (3) African American students involved in the SOAR program would perform significantly better than African American students in the same school district (Wake County) not involved in SOAR; and (4) African Americans students involved in the SOAR program would perform significantly better than European Americans students in the same school district (Wake County) not involved in SOAR. All hypotheses were supported. Participants in the SOAR program significantly outperformed students not involved in the program or attended once; students who attended ten or more times in the SOAR program significantly outperformed students who attended less than ten times. African Americans in the SOAR program who attended ten or more times, significantly outperformed European Americans in the SOAR program who attended ten or more times and African Americans and European Americans in Wake County not involved in SOAR. African Americans in SOAR did not outperform European Americans participating in SOAR when the entire sample was analyzed. This suggests that the group affect was greater for African Americans. The present study provides evidence that a well-designed after-school program, which focuses on increasing students' resiliency by building their academic skills, their sense of belonging, their sense of usefulness, and their personal potency can close the achievement gap between African Americans and European Americans and can yield positive results for all students involved in the after-school program.
Date: 2007-09-19
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Counselor Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3402


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