Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Freddie A. Banks, Jr.


The main purpose of this study was to survey students who were enrolled in the Hamilton-Jefferson Counties Alternative Schools in Mt. Vernon and McLeansboro, Illinois, to determine the effectiveness of the alternative schools from the students' perspectives. This information should serve as an aid to decision makers in determining if changes were needed in the alternative schools.

The 78 students in the survey were asked to respond to survey questions designed to provide information regarding what effect enrollment in an alternative school had on their attendance, behavior, academic success, citizenship, and self-esteem.

An analysis of the survey results indicated that a majority of students believe they have benefited from enrollment in an alternative school and that the alternative schools have been effective in meeting many of their needs.

The information from this study shows that the alternative school is effective in creating a good environment for the students; in having a positive effect on the students attitudes, citizenship, and career awareness; and in having a positive impact on school attendance, academic success, and student behavior. The alternative schools, however, had only marginal success in fostering self-esteem in students. It is recommended that this information be shared with appropriate decision makers, including those associated with the proposed alternative schools for disruptive students, to help maintain educational settings which meet the needs of at-risk students.