Publication Date

Spring 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Counselor Education

Abstract

There is an epidemic of high school non-completion in the United States, leaving non-graduates at a significant disadvantage financially, emotionally, and socially. Academic performance in ninth grade is a critical predictor of high school completion, however, achievement loss is common in 9th grade. In addition to increased academic demands, Freshmen face unique developmental, social and emotional challenges. Educators recently developed Response to Intervention (RTI): systematic programming to address students’ educational and behavioral needs. RTI delivers services via three tiers, which increase respectively in their intensity of support. This quantitative study focused on one high school’s implementation of RTI to freshmen to address their academic needs and minimize achievement loss. The researcher examined the correlation between RTI and academic performance by comparing GPAs of at-risk students enrolled in RTI to those who would have been eligible last year, prior to the program’s implementation. Results showed that the GPAs of students enrolled in RTI displayed significantly less of an achievement loss than at-risk students, who were not enrolled in the program the year before, therefore suggesting that the RTI program was effective in improving academic performance of freshmen.

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