Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dianne Cooney-Miner

Second Supervisor

Russell Coward

Third Supervisor

Dirk Hightower


Out-of-school time programs (OST programs) are effective at improving social-emotional development and academic performance. Much of the literature on out-of school time programs supports the relationship between levels of impact and participation (Durlak & Weissberg, 2007; Lauer, Akiba, Wilkerson, Apthorp, Snow, & Martin-Glenn, 2006). Research suggests that low-income African Americans benefit from out-of school time programs. However, they are less likely to participate than their White and more affluent counterparts (Simpkins, 2003). This study sought to develop a framework for understanding participation among African American adolescents in the Rochester Step-Off Program (RSO) using the Communities That Care Youth Survey. The study sample was 105 participants of the Rochester Step-Off Program during the 2007 -2008 academic year. The sample was compared to the national dataset (n=240,000). The national dataset was a heterogeneous sample and reported greater risk factors than did the heterogeneous study sample. Profiles of risk factors and protective factors were constructed. for three levels of attendance and there was limited variation among the three profiles. Further, there were small correlations between the independent variable (Attendance) and the risk factor (Poor Academic Performance). The study offers suggestions for practitioners in the youth services field, those in education, and executive leaders.

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