Alternative Educational Programs: Accommodating
Tertiary Level, At-Risk Students
Tary J. Tobin
Jeffrey R. Sprague
University of Oregon
In this chapter, ideas from descriptive literature and findings from
recent studies are organized in response to four major questions:
What is known about alternative programs for very at-risk students, some of who are committing delinquent acts?
What are best practices for keeping these students engaged in schooling?
What are best practices for meeting their complex needs?
What are the essential features of proven programs for these students at elementary and middle school levels respectively?
Before these questions are addressed, search strategies are explained,
terms defined, the need for alternative programs described, and
concerns about alternative programs discussed.
Information was located by searches of electronic databases (e.g.,
ERIC, PsychINFO) using variations on, and combinations of, terms such
as "alternative education, at-risk, antisocial, delinquency, dropout,
expulsion, placement, prevention, school-based intervention,
suspension." Hand searches of recent issues of journals that report
studies related to behavior disorders and/or school-based interventions
were conducted (e.g., Behavioral Disorders, Career Development for
Exceptional Children, Child and Family Behavior Therapy, Exceptional
Children, Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Journal of
School Psychology, Proven Practice, Psychology in the Schools, School
Psychology Review). Abstracts and/or introductions were read to
determine if the material addressed the research questions listed above
and, if so, which question was addressed most fully. Additional sources
were identified from references of selected articles.