TitleAn exploration of the 'I Have a Dream' program and its impact on urban students' academic trajectories
NameDiamantis, Olga (author), Schneider, Kenneth (chair), Romasz-McDonald, Tanya (co-chair), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
Low-income students--New Jersey,
Motivation in education--New Jersey,
Academic achievement--New Jersey,
School psychology--New Jersey
DescriptionThe ‘I Have a Dream’ (IHAD) program is a philanthropic, community-based intervention committed to supporting pupils in impoverished and under-resourced school systems. The IHAD program presents disadvantaged youth with an equal opportunity to pursue higher education by providing scholastic and social-emotional supports to promote college readiness or successful entrance into the workforce. This dissertation assessed if an IHAD program in the northeast had positively impacted the academic trajectory for participants (Dreamers) and explored if its students’ academic achievement and attainment was superior to their grade-level peers. Dreamers’ Language Arts and Mathematics proficiency ratings on state proficiency examinations were compared to the proficiency ratings of students in the general population of the district. An analysis of graduation rates, school-drop out, and enrollment rates were compared between the Dreamers and aggregated peer data from senior cohorts. Results suggest that the Dreamers had made gains from Grade 4 to Grade 11 in both Language Arts and Mathematics, as evidenced through their proficiency scores on the state standardized assessments. The data also indicated that Dreamers fared comparably to non-IHAD peers with their academic attainment. Meaningful comparison of graduation rates between the Dreamers and senior peer group was not possible due to limited publically accessible data. Future research may benefit from examining Dreamers’ sustained academic attainment through college enrollment and graduation rates. Prospective IHAD research may also benefit by examining how historical, cultural, and societal mechanisms may be contributing to disadvantaged youth’s academic merit and aspirations.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Olga Diamantis
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.