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The Effects of Counseling on The Potential Drop-out



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My project is part of a counseling strategy for a small group of students who have been classified as potential drop-outs. The number of experimental students is approximately 15. The sample will be taken from a total of 100 sophomore high school students. The school setting is Carver High School, a school in a large Urban School District, the Chicago Public Schools. For the most part, the students at Carver live in the surrounding Housing Projects, the Altgeld Gardens.( a Complex for low income residents) From 80 to 90 percent of Carver's students receive free lunches due to their families' incomes being at or below the poverty level.

In the Chicago Public Schools , attendance and graduation rates are at the highest levels in a decade. Statistics show that 91.1 percent of all Chicago Public Schools students attend school every day. There was a four percent increase in student attendance in the 1996-97 school year. The truancy rate has dropped for the third consecutive year down to 4.6 percent. Enrollment is the highest since 1985-86 school year. Mobility is at its lowest. The high school graduation rate is 65.2 percent, the highest since the 1985-86 school year. The 1996-97 report card shows Carver's graduation rate to be 56.3 percent compared to the subregion's 65.5 percent, district's 65.2 percent and the state's 81.6 percent.

It is my hope to use data collected from 3 different racially/ethnically schools by presenting a survey to use this information to assist in putting Carver students(the experimental group) in a predictive potential drop-out category. These students will receive counseling strategies and use online help links on drop-out prevention to affect their potential drop-out status.

The goal is to insure that all students will learn, the high school graduation rate will be at least 90%, that every high school student will remain in school long enough to acquire skills and knowledge to compete in a global economy and exercise the rights and responsibility of citizenship. The goal is also to insure that students remain in school long enough to find some other alternatives to prepare themselves for the next century by acquiring social, intellectual, academic and technological skills.


Carver's students will be beginning their sophomore year in high school. Their age is 14-17. It is the beginning of the first semester. The students have block schedules. They are in the Junior Academy (a school within a school). One period and a half have been added to their schedules especially for guidance and advisory. The classroom is equipped with the internet. The students also have access to the internet in the library. They take regular computer classes to learn basic computer skills.

The teacher begins in September to administer surveys to the 3 racially/ethnically different schools where students have left school before graduation and found themselves back in school. This information will be submitted to Carver through email or another online program to be set up with each school involved.The data will be compiled and utilized in a counseling strategy to affect change with Carver's students as far as graduation rate and career choices are concerned. The surveys will be composed by Carver students, teachers and parents.

The potential drop-out students will be classified based on the following criteria: Failed 3 or more classes, no parents or sibling ever completed high school or college , missed more than 20 days from school without a good excuse, fails to follow school policy, lacks self control , lacks self motivation, low self-esteem, and comes from a family of low socioeconomic background .

Questions regarding the reasons for leaving school early will be compiled along with personal data about family background and the number of siblings or parents graduating from high school or college. Questions about their socioeconomic backgrounds and the number of subjects failed in high school will be will be asked. The subjects they liked and is liked in high school will be focused on .Their transcripts will be examined. They will use the computer during their guidance periods to access links to web pages on drop-out prevention programs,communicate with students form the three racially different schools learning their views on issues on their progress since returning to school. At the same time counseling sessions will be held in person utilizing group, peer, personal and career counseling strategies. The teacher serves as a catalyst in the sessions. The sessions/assessments are ongoing. Other teachers and parents are included in the counseling sessions. They will last for one hour and a half weekly. The counseling strategies in class will focus on character building which will include the following topics: caring, courage, courtesy, fairness, family pride, honesty and truthfulness, kindness and helpfulness, respect, responsibility and work ethic. The students will have a role to work on exercises on one character trait every two weeks. They will make web pages and create links on each topic. Their parents' role will be to serve as support and caregivers working with teachers and staff. The students will learn cognitive skills across the content area. The students will discuss in the group what is good ethical behavior and good citizenship and the responsibility for coming to school prepared for learning. Community resources will be utilized such as using tutoring and volunteer services, extra curricula activities and establishing family standards.

Using room computers, the students will communicate with students at the three racially/ethnically different schools to find how successful these students have been since returning to school and to keep them enthusiastic about the progress Carver students are making. Also the Carver students will consult 20 Web Pages from the internet search to communicate with schools, agencies ,youth programs, counselors, job training programs, juvenile services and resources , county department of labor and alternative programs for drop-out prevention.

The end product is a student who is successful in all his/her classes, has a good attendance record, has a positive spirit, has high self-esteem, follows school policy, has an improved grade point average, has selected a particular career path and will graduate from Carver High School successfully.

post assessment tool will be constructed by parents, teachers and students from both schools.A post assessment is administered at the end of each school year to determine the success of the strategies and the enthusiasm of the students involved. Each school year a new experimental group at Carver is selected and a new counseling strategy is prescribed based on new data collected. A new assessment tool will be designed each year. Video taping is used to document data. The final assessment comes at the end of each senior year. One guide is to determine how many of students remain at the end of their senior year after having been categorized as potential drop-outs and have participated in the counseling strategies.

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Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office, Friends of Fermilab, United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, and North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Author: Minnie L. Robinson (mrobiso@teacher.depaul.edu)
School: Carver High , Chicago, Illinois
Created: October 18, 1997 - Updated: January 10, 1998
URL: /lincon/f97/projects/mrobinson/scenario.htm