Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Third Advisor

Newton W. Hoilette



It would appear that the problem of school truancy, retention, and subsequent academic failure is a major educational crisis which puts most of the African American students at risk in the Benton Harbor area schools.


The purpose of this study has been to determine the concomitant educational problems facing the "at-risk" African American students in the Benton Harbor Elementary School System and to suggest positive changes through an alternative model.


The results of the survey indicated that approximately 90-95% of Benton Harbor educators agreed to changes. Administrators and teachers strongly agreed that the recommendations, based on the findings, if implemented, would be considered as positive changes in the learning difficulties observed among the at-risk African American pupils in Benton Harbor primary schools. The survey first spelled out the observed educational difficulties of the African American at-risk elementary students in Benton Harbor. Second, it indicated that recommendations based on the results, if implemented, will positively affect the educational needs of the at-risk African American students in the Benton Harbor primary school system.


Based on the findings of this study in chapter 4, and based on the review of related literature in chapter 2, ten conclusions have been drawn. They are reported in chapter 5.


Eight recommendations are made with a view to provide discussion and further study. They are developed in chapter 5.

Subject Area

African Americans--Education (Elementary)--Michigan--Benton Harbor; Elementary schools--Michigan--Benton Harbor; Problem children--Education--Michigan--Benton Harbor

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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