Date of Publication

5-15-2013

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Giblin, Professor in Education and Human Development

Abstract

Many school districts across New York State have been severely impacted by budget cuts, and extracurricular activities are normally the first programs eliminated in order to save money. This senior thesis paper seeks to prove the benefits of keeping extracurricular activities at schools, as well as the added benefits of making extracurricular activities a student requirement. This thesis explores several schools within different demographics that have strong extracurricular programs, and explains how that correlates to improved academic achievement, social skills, community involvement, and desirability to potential colleges and employers. In addition, it addresses the potential argument of there being no proven causal relationship between extracurricular activities and academic outcomes, and gives a valid counterargument. This thesis also proposes possible amended block schedules for schools that wish to include mandatory extracurricular activities within their school day, including one schedule with an extracurricular block at the end of the day, one with that block at the beginning of the day, and one with that block in the middle of the day, and explains the benefits, disadvantages, and practicality of each. Conclusions from the evidence in this thesis suggest that the benefits of requiring extracurricular activities outweigh the potential difficulty in practicality and funding that a school district may face.

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