Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education

Major Professor

Robert Kronick

Committee Members

Vincent Anfara, Gerald Ubben, Robert Cunningham

Abstract

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory, qualitative single case study was to explore the Full Service Community Schools model in one, urban elementary school. More specifically, the study sought to understand the impact this model had on students and teachers at one particular research site. This study was also intended to examine the impact the Full Service Community School model had on the role of school administrators. The research questions that guided this study were:

(1) How does the Full Service Community School model impact students?

(2) How does the Full Service Community School model impact teachers?

(3) What impact does the Full Service Community School model have on the role of school administrators?

The study found students who were struggling academically were assigned a volunteer that served as a tutor and provided individualized instruction to the students. These students were found to complete their classwork and homework when working with tutors while practicing academic skills they had not mastered. Findings also suggested students formed relationships with their tutors which prompted personal dialogues to occur. Students would talk to their tutors about problems they were facing at home and school. In addition, this study also found aggressive and defiant students were provided a volunteer who served as a mentor. These students would work on social, emotional and behavioral skills. Mentors would motivate the students to behave appropriately in school and reward them when this was accomplished. Lastly, the after school component of the Full Service Community Schools model was found to impact students because it gave students a safe and structured environment to attend when the regular school day had ended.

The findings of the study found the Full Service Community Schools model impacted teachers in several ways. Volunteers serving as mentors and tutors worked with the most challenging students. This gave teachers more instructional time to work with other students. When volunteers listened to students’ problems, teachers were freed up to continue teaching. Also, teachers were able to relinquish responsibilities to the volunteers who worked with students. The volunteers gave teachers an extra set of hands in the classroom.

Lastly, this study found the Full Service Community School model impacted the role of administrators the least. The model put extra responsibilities on principals due to having extra individuals in the building during and after the school day. Administrators also had to coordinate the schedules of these individuals. On a positive note, volunteers working with disruptive students did assist administrators because these students were less likely to visit the office.