This paper focuses on quantitatively assessing the implementation of a freshman academy on multiple educational outcomes for students including academic, behavioral and emotional indicators. Existing research presents mixed findings on the effectiveness of freshman academies on student success, and rarely attempt to measure indicators other than grades or standardized test scores. This study examines not only students’ grades and credits attained, but also attendance, behavior referrals and most innovatively, students’ emotional engagement and connectedness. Data from cohorts prior to and post-freshman academy implementation were quantitatively analyzed using a causal-comparative design. Welch t-tests revealed that academic achievement indicators did not differ significantly between pre- and post-freshman academy implementation, while the freshman academy implementation had a positive, statistically significant impact on behavioral engagement indicators. Emotional engagement indicators showed minimal differences between construct scales, however examination of county and state survey results for the same years revealed significantly decreases, showing that the freshman academy had a buffering effect from a broader, downward trend in student emotional engagement statewide.
Honetschlager, V. A.
Bridging the High School Transition: Assessing the Impact of a Freshman Academy on Student Success.
The Interactive Journal of Global Leadership and Learning, 1(2).