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An Examination of School Climate in Effective Alternative Programs Open Access Deposited

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Last modified: 08/23/2017

The alternative education field lacks a common definition and has a major divide between the differing philosophies of alternative programs; little empirical evidence is available to identify the components necessary to create effective alternative educational programs. Tremendous growth in the availability of alternative programs in the United States over the past several decades, however, illustrates continuing demand for such programs as well as the need for research on the characteristics that constitute effective alternative programs. In this article, the authors study exemplary alternative programs in 3 racially and economically diverse communities to characterize the school climate as viewed by the students and the staff. At this relatively early stage in the field of alternative education, it is essential to examine the similarities, as well as any differences, in the social climate of highly effective alternative programs and to consider their potential relationship with student academic and behavioral success. Furthermore, it is important to recognize how these findings might be one foundation for future inquiry and research on alternative education. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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