Transition planning for at-risk students

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Rokosh, Rhonda Marie
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The focus of this study centered on establishing the usefulness and appropriateness of a personal futures planning process for six secondary students labelled at-risk. The personal futures planning tool, Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH) developed by Pearpoint, O'Brien, & Forest (1991), typically used with students with special needs, was implemented with students identified by their high school resource teacher and guidance counsellor as being mildly, moderately or severely at-risk of not graduating from high school. The intent of the study was to determine, (a) the appropriateness of the PATH process for this particular group of students, and (b) the value of the various steps in PATH. The participants in this study were all senior high school students. Four female and two male students participated in the study. Two were classified as severely at risk of not graduating, two moderately at risk, and two mildly at risk. The findings of this study suggest that PATH is a useful, positive method of personal planning for this group of students. It allowed the students to identify their own goals and the time frames by which their goals be accomplished. It proved to be an appropriate and useful planning tool when used to help at-risk students plan for their futures in a positive way. (Abstract short ned by UMI.)