Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Linnea Rademaker

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Emiel Owens

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Karan Duwe


Every school year, many U.S. students prepare to make the transition from being a middle school student to becoming a high school student. School transitions happen regularly and can be considered predictable. As students transition to high school, there are more challenges such as school work and peer influence. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of students who participate in a transition program as they transition from middle school to high school. Also, this study explored the perceptions of teachers who participated in the transition programs. The population of this study consisted of students who were enrolled in a rural school district, which has a total student population of 500, in South Carolina who have participated in a transition program. The sample of this study was purposeful sampling of eight students who have participated in a transition program, as well as a purposeful sample of five staff who have worked with students in the transition program. An overall conclusion of the findings revealed the students enjoyed the transition program as it provided additional resources for students and access to additional clubs that provided structure and the ability to develop connections with peers. The staff found the transitional program beneficial to all students to help improve student success. Recommendations for future research include conducting all interviews in person, interviewing students and staff who have not participated in the transition program, and interviewing principals and superintendents. Program directors’ should develop a curriculum plan that students will follow and schools should seek funding to assist with proving transportation to students to attend the transitional program.

Keywords: bridge program, transition program, low socioeconomic background, focus groups, administrators

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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