Sociology ETDs

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Programs which are designed to persuade youngsters to remain in high school through graduation are necessary as a buffer against personal and social problems generated from failure to acquire a high school diploma. No one standardized solution to the school dropout problem exists. Rather activities to diminish the dropout rate assume many forms. A new approach recently brought to bear on this crucial problem in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is an alternative educational program, Freedom High school. The broad purpose of this inquiry, therefore, was to investigate the role of Freedom High School as a dropout pre­vention program.

Included among the research instruments used in the collection of data were structured interviews with students and the counter culture scale.

Although students who possessed the traits of the typical dropout were present in the sample population, the findings also indicated the existence of an element other than the tra­ditional dropout. This element was identified as the student who exhibited a strong orientation to counter culture values. Unlike the model dropout, the high counter culture adherent bore the traits that should be conducive to school persistence. It was concluded, therefore, that as a result of admitting this type of student, the effectiveness of the Freedom High School program as an instrument to reduce the dropout rate may be weakened.

Also the study presented possible explanations for the presence of high counter culture adherents in a program speci­fically designed for potential dropouts. The findings suggested that the inclusion of these students may be attributed to the program's student selection mechanism, need to demonstrate merit to warrant continued funding, submission to pressure exerted by middle class parents to have their children admitted, and use as a repository for trouble-makers.

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Level of Degree


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First Committee Member (Chair)

Joseph Fashing

Second Committee Member

Patrick Hayes McNamara

Third Committee Member

Frieda Lillian Gehlen



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Sociology Commons