Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Analysis of Traditional Principals’ Perception of Alternative Education Programs and the Impact they have on Public High Schools in Western PA

Holtzman, Mark (2015) Analysis of Traditional Principals’ Perception of Alternative Education Programs and the Impact they have on Public High Schools in Western PA. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (967kB)


The popularity of alternative educational options has created more transient students, and the challenge for educators is to communicate and support the needs of all children. The purpose of this study was to gather the perceptions of principals of traditional high schools about alternative education options and investigate the relationships and impact alternative schools have on public high schools. This study surveyed 20 principals in Western Pennsylvania and the researcher also conducted ten follow-up in-depth interviews with survey participants. The investigative themes of the survey and interview questions concerning alternative education were: utilization, value, alignment of efforts, and planning and communication with respect to these settings. The research questions are based on the literature review and are as follows:
1. What type of alternative education programs do traditional principals utilize?
2. To what degree do traditional principals value alternative education programs? Why? Why not?
3. How do traditional principals align their efforts with alternative programs in order to promote student success?
4. What are traditional principals’ perspectives on improving the alternative education process in order to better support at-risk youth transitioning back into public high schools?
The goal was to identify key factors that traditional principals experienced through their practical familiarity with the alternative education process. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected to answer the four research questions. Principals described their practical experiences with alternative schooling and identified the supports necessary in order for educators to meet the unique needs of transient students. Data obtained through the participants’ responses established that communication, social services, and a variety of organizational practices are necessary components for meeting the needs of students attending educational alternatives. The audiences of this particular study are administrators from traditional and alternative settings that are interested in the principal’s voice and practical experiences related to the placement of students in alterative settings and the selected effects of these processes on public schools. The findings confirmed that policies and mandates such as No Child Left Behind, IDEA, AEDY regulations and McKinney-Vento Homelessness Act have limited high school principals’ discretion as they attempt to support transient students with unique needs.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBickel, Williambickel@pitt.eduBICKEL
Committee MemberGunzenhauser, Michaelmgunzen@pitt.eduMGUNZEN
Committee MemberMcClure, Maureen W.mmcclure@pitt.eduMMCCLURE
Committee MemberHughes, Seanshughes@pitt.eduSHUGHES
Committee MemberCastagna, Daniel
Date: 28 January 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 18 November 2014
Approval Date: 28 January 2015
Submission Date: 10 November 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 139
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alternative Education
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2015 21:18
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:25


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item