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Becoming at-risk: transitioning into a communications classroom; a phenomenological study

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(Thesis) M.A.
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The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experience of high school students as they transitioned into the at-risk label of a Communications 11 student. This research focused on those students who were designated at-risk for non-diagnostic reasons. Four students were interviewed about their experiences and the transcriptions were confirmed by them to ensure authenticity. A composite description of these cases was created in order to gain an understanding of the intricacies of the experience as the students transitioned into the Communications 11 classroom. Furthermore, issues concerning how non at-risk students are assigned to a Communications 11 class, the experience of the average Communications 11 student, and the stigma associated with being a Communications 11 student were explored. The study discovered that the placement into a Communications class had implications for both the students’ academic self-concept as well as their academic reputations with peers.
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