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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Special Education

First Advisor

Cheryl Somers

Second Advisor

Gerald Oglan

Abstract

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ADVISORY PROGRAMS WITH TEACHERS AND LEARNING DISABLED AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDENTS IN URBAN HIGH SCHOOLS

By

Camelia Ramona Gligor

ABSTRACT

This is a study that investigated the effects of Advisory program on African American high school students with specific learning disabilities. In this qualitative study the advisory program is examined through the lenses of teachers and students from a Mid East Metropolitan Area (MEMA).

Three research questions guided this dissertation: (1) How do secondary school teachers perceive inclusive advisory in urban schools; (2) How do African-American SLD students value their experiences in advisory; (3) What are the secondary teachers’ critical views on social-emotional development of African American SLD students in advisory?

Previous research indicates that advisory program creates strong bounds between student - school community, student - an adult advisor in school, and family – school. This program represents a support system that addresses (1) the social - emotional needs of adolescents as synthesized in developmental theories and (2) increases the graduation rate for urban minorities at –risk high school students. In addition, the research builds on literature gaps on social-emotional needs of adolescents learning disabled students.

This study advances our understanding of high schools’ non-academic support systems needed by African American learning disabled students from MEMA inner city.

Using data from interviews, diaries, and surveys from MEMA eight volunteers (teacher advisors and students), as well as two observations on advisory program in two MEMA schools, the researcher conducted an inductive study based on Grounded Theory methodology.

The findings from the research illustrate how the expectations of a high school instructor’s job shifted in students and teachers beliefs from just being an academic facilitator to embracing a caregiver role. Contrary to the researcher’s expectations, two other types of advisory were found, besides the inclusive and seclusive forms: tracking as a form of inclusion and the replace of an advisory curriculum with special education support in seclusive special education classes.

Theoretical contributions and educational implications of the findings are discussed.

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