Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

David E. Bartz


The main purpose of this field experience was to survey students who participated in Beck Area Vocational Center's Optional Education Program (OEP) in Red Bud, Illinois, to data needed to construct a profile of the typical at-risk youth within a 50-mile radius of Beck. This, in turn, would set the stage for the construction and implementation of an instrument that might be used to identify other potential at-risk youth at the high school level in the area.

The 71 students in the survey were asked to respond to survey questions that had been deemed successful in distinguishing dropouts from non-dropouts.

In addition, a review of current literature associated with at-risk characteristics and the at-riskness of high school age students was presented.

An analysis of the survey results indicated that the at-risk students in the area do possess some uniqueness; however, for the most part, data collected on a national level were found to be consistent with that collected in this study.

The findings and recommendations from this study emphasize that, even though data collected nationwide has proven accurate, some unique characteristics overall for the area did exist. These findings suggest that when gathering data needed, the research instrument should allow customization for local variables.