Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Marcano, Rosita Lopez

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Hispanic American high school students--Illinois--Chicago--Case studies; Alternative schools--Illinois--Chicago--Administration--Case studies; School management and organization--Illinois--Chicago--Case studies


In the United States, more than 3 out of 10 students do not complete high school. High-school dropouts are at higher risk of poverty, health problems, incarceration, and governmental dependence. A University of Illinois study found that a person with only one to three years of high school will earn 68% less than a high-school graduate over a lifetime. According to the National Center of Statistics, race/ethnicity and high-school completion are strongly correlated. Latinos have the highest high school dropout rate among all ethnic and socioeconomic groups in the United States. Latino students attending traditional high schools are at higher risk of not completing their education. However, Latinos are as likely as White, African American, and Asian young adults to complete school with an alternative education. For many Latinos, alternative education has been the most viable educational option. This study focuses on school organization at successful alternative high schools serving Latino students in Chicago. A review of literature provides a historical overview of alternative education, types of alternative schools, and the advantages and disadvantages of alternative education. The 15 most successful strategies in school dropout prevention, as reported by the National Dropout Prevention Center, are presented. This section reviews the characteristics of successful and unsuccessful alternative schools. The study is organized as a case study. Data triangulation was used to confirm validity. Sources of data included semi-structured interviews of Chicago Public School (CPS) and alternative high school administrators, review of documents, archival records, and direct observations. Results from this study provide information to school administrators about positive and successful strategies in educating Latino and at-risk students, covering school organization issues, curriculum, and classroom management.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [147]-156).


xiv, 182 pages




Northern Illinois University

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