Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Ron Morgan, Ed.D.

Committee Members

Robert Denham, Ph.D.

Ronald Williams, Ed.D.


education; social sciences; ANOVA; African American students; continuation schools; critical race theory; cross-sectional survey research; high school


Adult and Continuing Education | African American Studies | Educational Leadership | Secondary Education


From a Critical Race Theory perspective (Ladson-Billings & Tate, 1995), this study examined the perceptions of experiences of African-American students enrolled in two different continuation high schools (a traditional continuation school and a non-traditional continuation with a residential component attached). This was done to measure success from the students' point of view. Students who are at-risk of failing in the education system are often enrolled in alternative education programs, which is many times a last chance effort in helping them achieve academic success (EdSource, 2008a). These programs can be administered by a school district or by a private business. The most common alternative education programs are continuation schools, which focus on school-to-career education, individualized instructional strategies, intensive guidance and counseling, and flexible school schedules to meet student needs who are at-risk of not graduating. In California, "in October 2008, there were 525 continuation high schools reporting an enrollment of 70,937" (California Department of Education (CDE), 2010c). Eleven percent of continuation high school attendees are African American (EdSource, 2008a), and the percentage of African-American students who attended public high schools in California in 2008–09 was 7.9%. African-American students' perceptions of their continuation school experiences were the main focus of this study. The findings of this study showed that African-American students rated their perceptions of experiences in a traditional and a non-traditional continuation high school more positively than negatively. When comparing the perceptions of students in a traditional continuation high school and a non-traditional continuation high school, the traditional continuation high school attendees rated their experiences somewhat less favorably than students attending the non-traditional continuation school.


ISBN: 9781124829616