Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Lynda L. Kayser


Low- or non-achievement by students has historically been a problem for teachers and administrators, as well as for parents and students. Same grade retention has been proven by many researchers to be non-productive and in many cases, punitive. The Cumberland Helpers in Partnerships (CHIPs) program was begun at Cumberland Elementary and Junior High School as an interventive measure to combat this problem of low achievement. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students who were considered academically at risk at the end of the first semester of the 1995-1996 school year (N=78) were asked to voluntarily attend tutoring sessions to help improve their grades. Academically proficient junior high students were selected as tutors and they took part in ten training sessions throughout the 18 week tutoring period. Training sessions were conducted by a certified staff member. Tutors were in the tutoring lab four days per week for the 18 week period. At risk students voluntarily self-selected whether they were a member of the experimental group or the control group, depending on whether they attended the tutoring sessions a pre-determined number of times. The experimental group of students (N=29) were those who attended at least 36 of the 72 sessions. The control group {N=49) were those who attended less than 36 of the 72 sessions. Three t-tests were conducted on these at risk students. A pre-program grade point average (GPA) was taken from official school records for each student. At the end of the 18 week period, a post-program GPA was taken for each student. It was found by this researcher that after examination of the mean scores for both pre- and post-program on both the experimental as well as the control group, more academic progress was made by the control group than the experimental group. A suggestion for further research is recommended in the areas of grades as they impact self-esteem and self-image, and the correlation, if any, between students' grades and parent involvement in the education process.