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Boston High School as an at-risk intervention program: 1968-1979

John Paul Caputo, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study describes an effective work/study educational model that was conducted by one urban school. This historical study is an effort to develop a framework and a process by which an effective educational option, The Boston High Program, could be regenerated and implemented within urban high schools and in the Boston Public Schools. This program was a viable approach as an intervention program for at-risk pupils. Explicitly, this study attempted to posit the notion that alternative work/study programs are working and present a viable means of strategy for at-risk prevention and intervention. Though programs that this study examined have been labeled differently and suggest some variations in structure and format, this research argues that work/study alternatives are useful and adaptable to urban high schools. Alternative work/study programs however, cannot be perceived to be a panacea for the at-risk pupil problem. The need for alternative work/study programs in urban schools exists because of the high dropout rates and the lack of prevention and crisis intervention programs. Findings of this historical account of Boston High concluded five factors that were necessary for a successful work/study program for at-risk students. These are: (1) An effective alternative work/study program must have dedicated, kind, caring professional leadership and staff. (2) The work/study component must offer career level positions, not entry level. (3) The work/study curriculum must be the collaborate effort of the private industry, the community, the mayor and the social leaders of the community. (4) The alternative program must work to restore the at-risk student's self-esteem through achievement and the work experience. (5) A successful work/study program for at-risk students must be able to retain and graduate its students. An elaboration of these factors using supportive data form the basis of this dissertation study. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)

Subject Area

Adult education|Continuing education

Recommended Citation

Caputo, John Paul, "Boston High School as an at-risk intervention program: 1968-1979" (1988). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8822642.