Conditions that Influence Student Achievement in a Futures Dual Credit Academy
Baez, Marcela A.
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Background: The Futures Academy Program provides students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree and industry certifications in high-demand career fields concurrently while completing their high school diploma. There is a need for empirical investigations on the effectiveness of this program in improving students’ academic achievement. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of school environmental conditions on students’ academic achievement in a Futures Academy Program at the “experimental site” (School E) versus three other Futures Programs at control sites one (School C1.1, C1.2, & C2.3), and three other high school programs at control sites two (School C2.1, C2.2, & C2.3) in an urban school district in Texas. Method: The study explored if there were significant differences in mean scores on the STAAR/EOC tests (A1, E1, & E2) of students with multiple risk factors based on the High School Program they pursue across the research sites. The study also examined if there were significant difference in students’ mean STAAR/EOC scores based on the Transformational status of the high school they attend. Finally, the study explored how students’ STAAR/EOC scores were related to a combination of: type of High School Program, Principal Turnover frequency, % High School Education or Below in community, Public Housing status, Students’ Gender, and At-Risk Status. An Ex Post Facto research design and linear prediction model was employed. Results: The results of One-Way ANOVA analyses revealed that students from School E had significantly higher mean STAAR/EOC scores than students from the “control sites” (p = .000). Multiple Linear Regression analyses confirmed that students’ STAAR/EOC scores are significantly related to the combination of: type of High School Program, Principal Turnover frequency, % High School Education or below in community, Public Housing status, Students’ Gender, and At-Risk Status [R = .352 (A1), .428 (E1), & .393 (E2), p = .000]. Conclusion: The best predictors of students’ STAAR/EOC scores were At-Risk status and Attendance at School E. The results of the study verify that the practices at School E positively impacted students’ achievement. These practices can be tested and reproduced and eventually lead to a positive transformation of urban education in Texas and beyond.