Implementing a student advisory program for ninth graders: Two high school models in action

Don Nicholas Solimene, Fordham University


This mixed-methods study investigated ninth-grade student involvement in and the academic impact of an advisory program at two high schools from the perspectives of administrators, teachers, and students. It was the researcher's assumption that research on an advisory program would enhance the development and implementation of such programs. To this end, three focal points of the program, participants, structure and planning, and outcomes, were investigated. The participants were categorized by their role within the program, i.e., advisor, advisee, or administrator. The structure was further analyzed by assessing the participants' perceptions of six areas: involving, supporting, relating, expressing, interacting, and accomplishing. Finally, outcomes were presented through the participants' perceptions of satisfaction, effectiveness, and their desire to continue within the program. The purposefully selected sample for the interviews was comprised of one administrator and three teachers from each of the two schools. Each high school was in its second year of implementation of the advisory program. All students were enrolled in the advisory program and were randomly assigned to an advisor. The primary data collection method was semi-structured interviews, with an online survey's serving as the secondary method. The survey was administered to students (n = 179) in the year immediately following their advisory year in ninth grade. This research revealed that the role of administrator was essential to the implementation process and success of the advisory program. The administrator assisted with planning, professional development, and providing a goal and purpose for the advisory program. The relationship between the advisor and students was important to meeting the diverse needs of the students. Finally, the study found the students were aware of the implications of not achieving academic success and the importance of academic preparedness for post-high school planning. Recommendations were offered to administrators for the implementation of an advisory program that has a clear focus, consistency in terms of having the same advisor and of the scheduling the program, and professional development and planning. Notably, the overall purpose of such a program is to enable students to have a voice and a personalized learning environment.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|School Administration|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Solimene, Don Nicholas, "Implementing a student advisory program for ninth graders: Two high school models in action" (2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3517905.