Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

Jeannie Kleinhammer-Tramill, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brenda Townsend Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


Transition to High school, Education in Conflict, Prep Schools, Reading Halls, and Student at Risk


The purpose of this study was to investigate the role that a small sample of prep-schools play in meeting the academic and behavioral needs of students who are at risk for poor academic and social outcomes as they transition from middle school to high school. The study examined the perspectives of teachers, students and families about their experiences with prep schools. A qualitative case research design was used in this research to gain a deeper understanding about the role of prep schools in the Southeastern region of Turkey. Teachers, students, mentors and parents were selected purposefully for the study as participants. Interviews, observations, and document analysis were used as a source of data. Based on the revealed qualitative data, the role of Reading Halls was represented under five themes and three sections. It is found that there are four main concerns about students including security, economic, academic, and behavioral concerns. These prep school type programs are non-profit organizations and aim to provide a safe environment for the students and teacher-family collaboration and play an important role. The program is supported with academic courses and social activities to address the concerns about the students.