Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Lopez, Rosita||Saban, Joseph M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Urban schools; African American students--Education (Secondary); Educational counseling


Advisory programs are recommended best practices that support the transition of students from grades 8 to 9, through developing adult-student relationships of care. Despite this fact, few advisory periods are implemented in large urban school districts with large populations of African American students. This qualitative study describes the experiences of 26 urban African-American Chicago Public Schools students during the transition from grades 8 to 9. A structured period of support, like advisory, provides the opportunity to build relationships that foster and support high school completion. The researcher sought to discern the differences in benefits gained by urban African-American students who participated in advisory programs and those who did not participate. This study gives voice to the concerns, emotions and challenges that urban African American students face during high school entry. Students describe their transition experiences based upon the formation of relationships with peers, teachers, and families. Most transition research tends to use quantitative methodologies, which do not provide insights into the personal experiences of students being studied. This qualitative study allows the voices of urban students to speak for themselves about their feelings, and experiences. The voices of the students in this study reveal the emotional feelings of students and their desire to be supported in order to achieve success. Urban African American students value having an adult advocate who can advise about academic challenges, extracurricular activities and answer questions that arise during the transition process. This study has strong implications for establishing structured programs of support for students in large predominantly urban African American school districts, as a means of helping students in such districts persist through high school and into viable postsecondary opportunities.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 186-197)


ix, 212 pages




Northern Illinois University

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