Date of Graduation
The study evaluated the panegyrical claims for high school-based community service programs. Four high school programs from three different states were selected to represent public, private-parochial, single and mixed gender, urban, suburban, and rural orientations. A repeated measure quantitative research design was developed and implemented as well as a qualitative study involving student and teacher/coordinator interviews. A survey instrument consisting of three scales--Social Isolation, Powerlessness, and Political Efficacy--was administered to experimental groups of student volunteers in each of four schools before and after programs involving student participation in community activities. The time periods between pre and post-tests ranged from one semester to the full school year. Likewise, control groups consisting of students who did not participate in community service were also administered the survey at the same times. Approximately fifteen percent of the students in the four experimental groups were personally interviewed as well as the teacher/coordinators of each program. Results of the study were mixed. Quantitative analysis disclosed a significant decrease in students' feelings of Social Isolation in the all-female private, parochial high school while community service activities in the inner-city apparently produced an increase in feelings of Powerlessness among student volunteers of a suburban public high school. Furthermore, Operation Desert Storm seemingly affected the attitudes of the control group on the same scale in the same school. The qualitative analysis revealed strong support for community service programs in all four schools from students, teachers, parents, and the community. The results of the study point out the need for specialized research into the different kinds of school-based community service programs and their impact on student feelings and attitudes utilizing a variety of appropriate instruments tailored to different types of service activities.
Procter, David Richard, "School-based community service: A descriptive analysis of four high school programs." (1992). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9601.