The use of the Dade County student assistance profile in the identification of at-risk students at a minority senior high school

Robert Leland Hearn, Florida International University


Current high school completion rates in Dade County and across the nation are considered to be unacceptable. This has led to the development of student assistance profiles to aid in the early identification of students considered to be at risk to allow for some form of intervention. The purpose of this research was to examine the current Dade County Public Schools profile as applied to one specific high school in which most of the students are Hispanic (mostly of Mexican descent) and Black (African-Americans, as well as recent Haitian immigrants). Additionally, the effectiveness of the alternative intervention program provided at this high school--a school within a school--were evaluated. School records of the 1992 in-coming ninth grade class became the initial data base. The individual student records of this cohort were then examined over a four-year period until their expected date or graduation. The DCPS profile used to identify potential dropouts from this group was evaluated, using chi-square and multivariate analysis, to determine its overall effectiveness, as well as the effectiveness of the individual indicators which comprise the profile. The Student Assistance Profile was found to an effective predictor, but it over-identified students from this cohort, particularly minorities, to the extent that it became largely ineffective, especially considering the limited resources available for intervention. The intervention program was found to be ineffective in reducing the dropout rate. Further analysis of the individual indicators used in the DCPS profile as they applied to this school population resulted in the development of an improved profile. By reducing the number of indicators to those found to be most highly associated with failure to graduate--academic performance and absences--a simpler student assistance profile was developed which appears to be better suited to high schools with similar demographics and budget restraints.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Curricula|Teaching|Educational sociology|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Hearn, Robert Leland, "The use of the Dade County student assistance profile in the identification of at-risk students at a minority senior high school" (1996). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9731925.