Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

James Rye

Committee Member

Elizabeth Dooley

Committee Member

Micah Fierstein

Committee Member

Patricia Obenauf

Committee Member

Samuel Stack


This is a qualitative case study designed to examine the viewpoints community members have about the after-school Health Sciences Technology Academy (HSTA) pipeline program for students in grades nine through twelve. The program is designed to foster success and improve the college going rate of under-represented students or what one colleague described as "kids on the bubble." There is little existing literature that examines community impact from the outside or gives voice to community members.

Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) has been in existence for 19 years in 26 of the 55 counties in West Virginia. It requires a four year commitment to the program which meets weekly during the school year. Students must complete 75 hours of community service over the course of the four years. In addition, students must complete yearly community research projects that address community issues and then present their findings at both local and state symposia. Upon completion students receive a tuition waiver to any state college.

The focus of the study was to capture and evaluate the community perceptions of the impact by interviewing 42 participants over the nine month period of this study. Additionally, extant data and documents as well as participant-observer observations and notes were examined, coded and compared for similarities and differences and served as a form of data triangulation.

The participants identified four categories of impact that were supported by extant and participant-observer data. Those categories were: Education, Community Service, Family and Community & State. Subtopics under each category defined the categories in detail. For instance, Education subtopics were: college graduation rate, influence on local school systems, enhanced teacher training, and community education. Study implications indicate a recommendation for re-instituting the teacher graduate program and implementation of a community impact evaluation component to the existing community-club evaluations.