Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

John W. Hill

Second Advisor

Kay A. Keiser

Third Advisor

Neal F. Grandgenett


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a career, academic, personal, and social high school transition program option on 9th-grade students' achievement, behavior, and engagement. Students in the career, academic, personal, and social group ( n = 30) and the comparison academic/elective course option programs group (n = 30) maintained average to above average achievement test scores and course grades, appropriately low levels of absence and tardy frequencies, and athletic, co-curricular, and extra-curricular school engagement participation suggesting school success during 9th-grade. Faced with social and emotional changes associated with adolescence and increased academic demands to prepare students for an ever-changing workforce, students and, in many cases, parents rely on educators to provide appropriate support to help students successfully navigate challenges as they transition from middle school to high school. While the student successes observed in this study cannot be directly attributed to participation in the transition programs it can be surmised that the programs indirectly attributed to students' success in accordance with their needs. Study results indicate that educators should sustain programs that directly and even indirectly help 9th-grade students realize academic success, demonstrate positive behaviors, and become actively engaged to increase the likelihood of continued achievement during their initial year of high school. Overall, the results of this study suggest continued use of curricular components associated with the study school's former career, academic, personal, and social high school transition program even if this information must be infused within existing coursework or student support systems.


Department formerly called Educational Administration and Supervision.

A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Education Major: Educational Administration.