Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Rosemary Link

Second Advisor

Mary Lou Williams

Third Advisor

Brenda Watson


Large schools of 1000 + students have become very prevalent. Studies have shown, however, that small size and tight-knit structured learning communities allow the school to give increased amounts of attention to students (Cotton, 1996). In larges chools, a sense of anonymity prevails causing students to feel disconnected and without roots, sometimes leading to frustration, anger and rage. As the last few years have shown, the results are violence, anti-social behavior and other serious violations of community rules. Research has shown that small schools have a better chance of meeting the needs of these disenfranchised adolescents by giving them roots and a place to belong(Sommers 1997). The purpose of this study was to examine the Freshman Academy Program at the high school in suburban Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The focus of inquiry is to evaluate the programs effectiveness of fostering a smaller community like setting, providing more support services, and increasing adult/student contact for the 9th grade student body. Research for the study was done by a triangulation approach of 1) gathering primary and secondary source data, 2) examining existing surveys, and 3) drawing from school dialogue and meeting minutes.


SC 11.MSW.2000.Kneeland.D