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Contracts and Credit-Deficiency. At-Risk Juniors @ Benson Polytechnic High School. Katie King Schneider – December 2012. The issue is…. Credit-deficient juniors are more likely to either not graduate at all or not graduate on time.

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contracts and credit deficiency

Contracts and Credit-Deficiency

At-Risk Juniors @ Benson Polytechnic High School

Katie King Schneider – December 2012

the issue is
The issue is…

Credit-deficient juniors are more likely to either not graduate at all or not graduate on time.

Students that don’t graduate have a poorer quality of life and do not make as much as students that do graduate on-time from a regular high school.

Current research does not necessarily cover credit-deficiency: it jumps straight to students that have already dropped out, or college students.

Current research addresses a lot of big-picture ideas. The problem there? It’s not easily accessible!

benson polytechnic high school
Benson Polytechnic High School


The Details

One of 2 magnet schoolsin PPS.

Benson graduates the most minority students of any PPS school.

  • Digital Media Production
  • Radio
  • Nursing
  • Dental
  • Medical Professions
  • Manufacturing
  • Automotive
  • Electric
  • Construction
as it is
As it is…

42.5% of the junior class is

not currently set to graduate on time



What can be feasibly addressed by counseling staff within a reasonable time frame?

Addressing the issue…

  • Existing research supports the following interventions:
    • Clear, obtainable goals.
    • Discussion of alternatives.
    • Discussion of School Supports.
    • A consistent person for follow-through.
data collection
Data Collection



Group Entrance/Exit Surveys (measuring school engagement & self confidence)


Hard Data

  • Data from Junior Transcripts

Entrance to Group

assessing at risk juniors hard data
Assessing At-Risk Juniors: Hard Data

Category 1: On-track to graduate with 16 or more credits earned both overall and for their core classwork.

Category 2: On-track to graduate with 16 or more credits earned, but are not on-track to graduate with their core classwork.

Category 3: Not on-track to graduate, have earned 14-16 credits

Category 4: Not on-track to graduate, have earned 12-14 credits.

Category 5: Not on-track to graduate,

have earned fewer than 12 credits.

addressing at risk juniors
Addressing At-Risk Juniors

Action Plan

Group Topics

4-6 sessions, including:

Goal Setting

Identifying what went wrong

Exploring options

Graduation Plan

Identifying school supports

  • Category 1: No action.
  • Category 2: Brief Contracts
  • Category 3: Group, Goal Setting & Contract.
  • Category 4: Group, Goal Setting, & Contract.
  • Category 5: Parent Meetings & Possible Transfer.
benefits conclusions
Benefits & Conclusions

If it works?

Higher Reported School Engagement and School Support

Higher Reported Self-Confidence

Students will have made up 1 or more credits.

ultimate goal
Ultimate Goal?


Not visible until 2014…

  • Christenson, S., Sinclair, M., Thurlow, M., Evelo, D. (1995). Tip the balance: Policies & practices that influence school engagement for youth at high risk for dropping out. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration.
  • Davis, L. E., Johnson, S., Miller Cribbs, J., Saunders, J., & Cribbs, J. (n.d). A Brief Report: Factors Influencing African American Youth Decisions to Stay in School. Journal Of Adolescent Research, 17(3), 223.
  • Gándara, P. (2010). The Latino Education Crisis. Educational Leadership, 67(5), 24-30.
  • Henry, K. L., Cavanagh, T. M., & Oetting, E. R. (2011). Perceived Parental Investment in School as a Mediator of the Relationship between Socio-Economic Indicators and Educational Outcomes in Rural America. Journal Of Youth And Adolescence, 40(9), 1164-1177.
  • Lang, K. (2009, June 3). Turning it around: Former dropout, new graduate setting new goals. La Crosse Tribune (WI).
  • Oregon School Report Cards Issued. (2011). Retrieved from
  • Smith, S.C., (2008). Addressing dropout related factors at the local level: Recommendations for teachers. The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities. Accessed:
  • Tavakolian, H. R., & Howell, N. (2012). Dropout Dilemma and Interventions. Global Education Journal, (1), 77-81.
  • Thurlow, M. L., Sinclair, M. F., Johnson, D. R., & National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, M. N. (2002). Students with Disabilities Who Drop Out of School: Implications for Policy and Practice. Issue Brief: Examining Current Challenges in Secondary Education and Transition.
  • Tyler, J. H., & Lofstrom, M. (2009). Finishing High School: Alternative Pathways and Dropout Recovery. Future Of Children, 19(1), 77-103.