Date of Award

2013

Degree Name

School Psychology

College

Graduate School of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree

Ed.S.

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Stephen O’Keefe

Second Advisor

Sandra S. Stroebel

Third Advisor

Fred Jay Krieg

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an alternative school in West Virginia. The school enrolled sixth to eighth grade students who had been suspended, expelled, or were facing expulsion. Using archived data, the academic performance of students who were in a mental health treatment program was compared to the performance of students who were in the alternative school but were not enrolled in the mental health program. All archival data was de-identified by the Psychologists on staff at the agencies so there were no identifiable human subjects. The research staff was provided access to existing administrative data that had no identifying student information, without the possibility of new data collection This study compared the students who were enrolled in a mental health program to the students at the alternative school who were not enrolled to determine the impact of therapeutic intervention on academic success. Annual grades and standardized test scores of the students before, during and after enrollment at the alternative school were analyzed. The mental health treatment group had a significantly higher mean on math achievement than the mean of the group who did not receive mental health treatment. The study also examined the effects of mental health treatment on school drop-out. Two years after the treatment year. The mental health group was more likely to stay in school than the non-mental health group.

Subject(s)

Alternative schools.

Students - Mental health.

Educational psychology.