Examining the Engagement of Career Academy and Comprehensive High School Students in the United States

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Behavioral engagement, career academy, cognitive engagement, emotional engagement, student engagement

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The purpose of this study was to compare the levels of student engagement of career academy students to those at a traditional comprehensive high school using propensity score matching and structural equation modeling. We found that academy students had significantly higher levels of emotional engagement and significantly lower levels of behavioral engagement than those at comprehensive schools. We also found no statistically significant differences in the levels of cognitive engagement of academy students compared to comprehensive school students. We believe the academy model has the promise of transforming the high school experience for students as it relates to their attachment to the school, their relationships with peers and teachers, and their sense of belonging and safety. However, academies need to work with students to create and develop co-curricular and extracurricular activities of interest to engage students in their schools at a higher level.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Journal of Educational Research, v. 113, issue 4, p. 247-261