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Perceptions of high school dropouts who enter and successfully complete the Mississippi National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program: "Recycling high school dropouts"

Marilyn K Bombac, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This case study explored the perceptions and experiences of high school dropouts who enrolled and successfully completed the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (YCP) at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and sought to discover the interventions that helped them succeed.^ A 20-question survey was distributed to cadets scheduled to graduate. All 163 cadets (100%) completed the survey. Three primary themes—Parental Support, Shared Values, and Teacher Support, emerged from the surveys, identifying the main factors that helped students to succeed in this program. Structured audio-taped interviews were conducted with staff members. Three primary themes emerged from the interviews: Shared Philosophy, United Team Approach, and the Desire to Make a Difference.^ A significant finding that emerged from the study was insight into the original YCP design. The combination of two theories, Dr. Glasser's Choice Theory and Dr. Deming's Systems Theory, was the foundation of the YCP infrastructure. The YCP, orchestrated by a Director skilled in both theories, resulted in over 90% of the high school dropouts being recycled into successful cadets with a high school diploma or GED. From the findings, the author proposed that educators understand that the primary role of public education is to produce responsible citizens (values, character education). The author recommends that teacher/administrator program curricula include concepts of Choice Theory and Systems Theory.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Secondary

Recommended Citation

Bombac, Marilyn K, "Perceptions of high school dropouts who enter and successfully complete the Mississippi National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program: "Recycling high school dropouts"" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3355069.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3355069

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