Homelessness and Academic Success

Running head: HOMELESSNESS AND ACADEMIC SUCCESS AMONG FEMALES
Homelessness and Academic Success Among Females
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Homelessness and Academic Success
As!"ac!
Adolescen!s go !h"ough man# changes and issues no"mall# and !hose !ha! a"e homeless
#ou!h ha$e !he added s!"ess o% no! ha$ing !hei" immedia!e needs me!& li'e shel!e" and %ood( )he#
e*+e"ience a lac' o% s!aili!# and losing one,s home can e a $e"# !"auma!ic e*+e"ience( Man#
homeless adolescen!s lea$e school %o" $a"ious "easons( )hose -ho "emain in school ma# %ace
e*!"a challenges in addi!ion !o 'ee+ing u+ -i!h !hei" academics(
S!udies ha$e een done !o cha"ac!e"i.e s!uden!s !ha! do d"o+ ou! and e*amine %ac!o"s
leading !o !ha!( )his +a"!icula" s!ud# -ill loo' a! %i%!# %emales cu""en!l# "esiding in a Ne- /o"'
Ci!# +"i$a!e shel!e" %o" #ou!h e!-een !he ages o% 10121( Demog"a+hics -ill e !a'en in!o
accoun!( A su"$e# -ill e gi$en !o !he #oung ladies !o measu"e ho- man# com+le!ed high school
and ho- man# did no!( )he su"$e# -as ada+!ed %"om cha"ac!e"is!ics o% d"o+ ou!s !ha! -e"e
men!ioned in !-o "esea"ched a"!icles( )he +a"!ici+an!s -ill !hen ha$e a chec' o%% lis! o% !hings
!he# ma# ha$e e*+e"ienced -hile in school( )he goal is !o %ind ou! -hich %ac!o"s had !he igges!
im+ac! on com+le!ing3no! com+le!ing high school(
Homelessness and Academic Success
2
Homelessness and Academic Success
Homelessness is a g"o-ing +"olem in ou" coun!"# and !he nume"s a"e s!agge"ing in
Ne- /o"' Ci!#( Acco"ding !o !he Ne- /o"' Ci!# De+a"!men! o% Homeless Se"$ices& as o% Ma# 4&
2511& !he"e -e"e 64& 784 indi$iduals en"olled in eme"genc# shel!e"s( I% -e loo' a! !hese nume"s
and 'ee+ in mind !his does no! include !hose li$ing on !he s!"ee!s& i! is clea" ho- ig o% an issue
homelessness is( Also s!agge"ing a"e !he s!a!is!ics %"om !he Coali!ion %o" !he Homeless& -hich
s!a!e !ha! nea"l# 1 in 25 Ne- /o"' Ci!# "esiden!s ha$e e*+e"ienced homelessness a! some +oin!
and mo"e !han 1 in 9 child"en in Ne- /o"' Ci!# li$e in +o$e"!#( )hese a"e all chilling s!a!is!ics
u! un%o"!una!el# !his is ou" "eali!#(
Adolescence is a !ime o% change and also a !ime -he"e school success can +la# a ma:o"
"ole in one;s %u!u"e( <hen adolescen!s do no! ha$e s!aili!#& i! can ha$e a ma:o" im+ac! on !hei"
academic success( De+ending on !he "esilienc# o% !he indi$idual s!uden!& homelessness can ha$e a
nega!i$e e%%ec! on !hei" achie$emen! in school( <e need !o %i"s! de%ine some !e"ms( Acco"ding !o
!he Na!ional Coali!ion %o" !he Homeless& a =homeless child and #ou!h= includes =child"en and
#ou!h -ho lac' a %i*ed& "egula" and ade>ua!e nigh!!ime "esidence(= )his includes !hose -ho a"e
s!a#ing in shel!e"s( Homelessness can ha$e a !"emendous nega!i$e e%%ec! on s!uden!s such as:
di%%icul!# -i!h !"ansi!ions& inaili!# !o %o"m %"iendshi+s& -i!hd"a-al and de+"ession& ange"(
?Sei%e"!& 2555@ A d"o+ou!& acco"ding !o Shannon and A#lsma?2556@& is =a s!uden! -ho lea$es
school ea"l# %o" an# "eason& e*ce+! dea!h& e%o"e com+le!ing school -i!h a "egula" di+loma and
does no! !"ans%e" !o ano!he" school(= A Ma"ch 2515 "e+o"! %"om !he Ne- /o"' Ci!# De+a"!men!
o% Educa!ion s!a!es !ha! al!hough !he d"o+ou! "a!e a++ea"s !o e declining& !he Class o% 255B had a
d"o+ou! "a!e o% 11(0C& -i!h His+anics ha$ing !he highes! "a!e( De"ha+s ecause o% !he di%%icul!#
measu"ing homelessness& no in%o"ma!ion -as gi$en as !o ho- man# s!uden!s ma# ha$e een
homeless(
)he"e a"e la-s in +lace +"o!ec!ing !he educa!ional "igh!s o% disloca!ed #ou!h& !he mos!
im+o"!an! eing !he McEinne#1Fen!o Ac!( In summa"#& !he McEinne#1Fen!o Ac! s!a!es !ha!
homeless #ou!hs ha$e !he "igh! !o a!!end !he school in -hich !he# -e"e en"olled +"io" !o
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Homelessness and Academic Success
ecoming homeless(?Ra%%e"!#& 1BB8@ )he McEinne#1Fen!o Ac! coincides -i!h )i!le 1 Da"! A o%
!he No Child Le%! ehind legisla!ion -hich s!a!es !ha! =(((au!oma!ic eligiili!# ac'no-ledges !ha!
!he e*+e"ience o% homelessness +u!s child"en a! a signi%ican! "is' o% academic %ailu"e& "ega"dless
o% !hei" +"e$ious academic s!anding(?Na!ional Cen!e" %o" Homeless Educa!ion@ )he go$e"nmen!
does ac'no-ledge !ha! e$en an e*cellen! s!uden! can succum !o !he +"essu"es o% homelessness(
A-a"eness o% !he la-s is a ma:o" %ac!o" and !he >ues!ion is "aised -he!he" o" no! schools a"e
com+l#ing -i!h !his "egula!ion( Ho- man# o% !he %amilies e*+e"iencing homelessness ac!uall#
'no- !hese la-s a"e in +lace %o" !hei" child"enG
S!uden!s should e a-a"e !ha! lea$ing school ea"l# can ha$e a long1las!ing e%%ec! on !hei"
+"o%essional %u!u"e( )he"e a"e conside"al# %e-e" :o o++o"!uni!ies ou! !he"e %o" +eo+le -ho do
no! com+le!e school( In !he 2556 "e+o"! # Shannon and A#lsma& i! -as sho-n !ha! high school
d"o+ou!s ea"ned an annual income o% H10&B55 com+a"ed !o !he H28&B55 !ha! high school g"adua!es
ea"ned( Man# s!uden!s elie$e !ha! ea"ning a GED is !he same& u! i! has also een seen !ha! GED
ea"ne"s also ma'e less mone# !han !hose -i!h high school di+lomas(?Shannon& A#lsma& 2556@
)he"e a"e man# "easons -h# s!uden!s lea$e school ea"l#& e$en mo"e so -hen discussing
homeless #ou!h( Some sa# !he# %el! a lac' o% "ele$ance in cu""iculumI o!he"s ma# ha$e !o -o"' in
o"de" !o hel+ su++o"! !hei" %amilies( Fo" some i! is sim+l# a lac' o% a!!endance %o" $a"ious "easons(
?S!anle#& Dluc'e" 2550@ Su"$e#s and in!e"$ie-s ha$e een done !o iden!i%# !he commonali!ies
among s!uden!s -ho d"o+ ou!( Some o% !he cha"ac!e"is!ics o% d"o+ou!s ha$e een iden!i%ied as
s!uden!s -ho ha$e lo- socioeconomic s!a!us& !hose in mino"i!ies& s+ea' English as a second
language& ha$e een held ac'& ha$e disaili!ies and man# mo"e(?Shannon& A#lsma& 2556@ )hese
a"e some %ac!o"s !ha! go in!o iden!i%#ing a s!uden! as eing a!1"is'( Schools need !o iden!i%# !he
s!uden!s !ha! %all in!o !hese ca!ego"ies !o see i% +"e$en!a!i$e se"$ices a"e necessa"#(
<ha! se"$ices a"e schools o%%e"ing !o dissuade a!1"is' adolescen!s %"om lea$ing school
ea"l#( )i!le 1 Da"! A o% NCLA s!a!es !ha! %unds ma# e used in )i!le1 schools %o" non educa!ion
"ela!ed a"eas& such as housing in%o"ma!ion and $iolence +"e$en!ion(?Na!ional Cen!e" %o" Homeless
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Homelessness and Academic Success
Educa!ion@ )his ma# cause conce"n since !he"e a"e no! onl# a!1"is' s!uden!s in )i!le 1 schools( As
+"e$iousl# s!a!ed& a-a"eness is again an issue( I% !he )i!le 1 schools a"e no! di"ec!l# o%%e"ing !his
in%o"ma!ion& man# !imes s!uden!s and %amilies -ill no! 'no- !o !a'e ad$an!age o% !he se"$ices(
)he Na!ional Cen!e" %o" Homeless Educa!ion has made sugges!ions %o" addi!ional se"$ices %o"
homeless #ou!h& such as counseling& c"edi! "eco$e"#& and su++l#ing !he s!uden!s -i!h asic needs&
such as clo!hing and %ood( Schools need !o +u! some o% !hese +"og"ams in +lace in o"de" !o "e!ain
!hese a!1"is' s!uden!s and inc"ease !hei" com+le!ion "a!e(
In m# "esea"ch& !he"e seems !o e a lac' o% in%o"ma!ion as !o -ha! di%%e"ences e*is! in
homeless adolescen!s -ho d"o+ ou! and !hose -ho com+le!e school -i!h a di+loma( <ha! o!he"
%ac!o"s ma# ha$e con!"iu!ed !o !hose -ho le%! schoolG Did !he ones -ho com+le!e ha$e no o!he"
%ac!o"s esides homelessness inhii!ing !hemG )he o:ec!i$e o% !his s!ud# is !o e*amine !his(
Me!hods
Da"!ici+an!s in !his s!ud# -e"e %i%!# %emales e!-een !he ages o% 10121 cu""en!l# "esiding
in a Ne- /o"' Ci!# +"i$a!e homeless shel!e"( I e*amined ho- man# o% !he %i%!# %emales %inished
high school -i!h a di+loma o" o!ained a GED o" did nei!he"( All g"ou+s -e"e gi$en !he same
su"$e#( )hose !ha! com+le!ed school chec'ed o%% an# %ac!o"s !he# e*+e"ienced -hile in school(
)hose !ha! d"o++ed ou! chec'ed o%% -ha! %ac!o"s led !hem !o ma'e !he decision !o lea$e school
ea"l#( )he su"$e# -as ada+!ed %"om cha"ac!e"is!ics men!ioned # Shannon and A#lsma?2556@ and
Cu"!is?1B06@ I!ems included !hings such as lac' o% shel!e"& %amil# oliga!ions& em+lo#men!
s!"ains& e!c( See A++endi* A %o" su"$e#( )he goal -as !o see -ha! cha"ac!e"is!ics o" %ac!o"s di%%e"
in !hose -ho did o" did no! com+le!e school(
Resul!s
O% !he %i%!# %emales su"$e#ed& !hi"!# ha$e a high school di+loma& -hile si* ha$e a GED
and %ou"!een ha$e nei!he"( )he demog"a+hics o% !hese "esul!s a"e in Figu"e 1( )he"e -as no "eal
signi%ican! "ela!ion e!-een !he deg"ee o!ained and e!hnici!#( Al!hough !he a"s a"e o% di%%e"en!
heigh!s& each indi$idual e!hnici!# had a high school di+loma as !hei" highes! deg"ee(
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Homelessness and Academic Success
Figu"e 1:
Lac' o% shel!e" -as a signi%ican! %ac!o" !ha! !he +a"!ici+an!s chose( 85C o% !hose
su"$e#ed said !he# had e*+e"ienced !his -hile in school( Figu"e 2 illus!"a!es !he
dis!inc!ion e!-een !hose -ho e*+e"ienced lac' o% shel!e" -hile in school u!
ne$e"!heless com+le!ed $e"sus !hose -ho le%! school ecause o% !his( )hose -ho did no!
o!ain a deg"ee -e"e mo"e li'el# !o indica!e lac' o% shel!e" as a +"olem(
Figu"e 2:
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Homelessness and Academic Success
Ano!he" %ac!o" !ha! -as +"ominen!l# chosen in !he gi$en su"$e# -as %amil# oliga!ions(
)his -as e*+lained as some!hing li'e ha$ing "es+onsiili!ies such as !a'ing ca"e o% #ounge"
silings( In!e"es!ingl# enough& !his %ac!o" -as chosen mo"e # +a"!ici+an!s -ho ha$e a deg"ee(
Figu"e 6 sho-s !he di%%e"ence(
Figu"e 6:
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Homelessness and Academic Success
A signi%ican! nume" o% +a"!ici+an!s also chose em+lo#men! s!"ains as some!hing !he#
e*+e"ienced -hile in school( Again -i!h !hese "esul!s& !he +a"!ici+an!s -ho had a deg"ee chose
!his mo"e o%!en !han !hose -ho did no!& as illus!"a!ed elo-(
Figu"e 9:
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Homelessness and Academic Success
Ano!he" %ac!o" on !he su"$e# !ha! "ecei$ed man# "es+onses -as lac' o% su++o"! %"om
home( )he ma:o"i!# o% !hose -ho chose !his -e"e ale !o o$e"come !his %ac!o" and "ecei$e a
deg"ee an#-a#( )he e*ac! nume"s a"e sho-n in Figu"e 8(
Figu"e 8:
B
Homelessness and Academic Success
No! su"+"isingl#& !he =no! enough c"edi!s !o g"adua!e= %ac!o" -as mo"e common among
!hose -ho did no! "ecei$e a deg"ee& !hough some -ho ha$e a deg"ee did choose !his( )his is
sho-n elo- in Figu"e 4(
Figu"e 4:
)he las! i!em !ha! "eall# "ecei$ed a signi%ican! "es+onse -as school moili!#( Almos! all
!he +a"!ici+an!s s!ill managed !o "ecei$e a deg"ee( See Figu"e 7(
Figu"e 7:
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Homelessness and Academic Success
O!he" %ac!o"s men!ioned on !he su"$e# u! "eall# sho-ed li!!le !o no signi%icance -e"e:
did no! ge! along -ell -i!h !eache"s& lac' o% "ele$an! cu""iculum& $ic!im o% ull#ing& d"ug3alcohol
ause& sus+ensions& social li%e -as mo"e im+o"!an! and language a""ie"s(
Discussion
)he"e -e"e some limi!a!ions !o !his s!ud#I !he %i"s! eing !ha! no males -e"e
in!e"$ie-ed so !ha! limi!ed !he "esul!s( Also& !he +a"!ici+an!s a"e cu""en!l# li$ing in a homeless
shel!e" and some!imes a"e mo"e c"i!ical due !o !hei" cu""en! si!ua!ion( Some!hing !o also 'ee+ in
mind is !ha! a %e- +a"!ici+an!s -illingl# le%! !hei" home so !hei" +oin! o% $ie- aou! school ma#
di%%e" %"om someone -ho has had no o!he" o+!ion( Man# +a"!ici+an!s chose =em+lo#men! s!"ains=
as a %ac!o" u! +e"ha+s i! should ha$e een as'ed -ha! 'ind o% :o !he# -o"'ed and ho- man#
hou"s ecause s!udies ha$e sho-n !ha! !he !#+e o% em+lo#men! o" amoun! o% hou"s ma# a%%ec! !he
d"o+ou! "a!e(
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Homelessness and Academic Success
F"om m# "esul!s& i! is clea" !ha! some +a"!ici+an!s -e"e mo"e "esilien! !han o!he"s( Man#
+a"!ici+an!s had mo"e !han !-o %ac!o"s chec'ed o%% u! #e! -e"e s!ill ale !o +e"se$e"e and
com+le!e school( De"ha+s i! -as !he se$e"i!# o% !he %ac!o"s( Fo" e*am+le& some ma# ha$e +ushed
!h"ough +oo" g"ades -hile lac' o% shel!e" is no! as eas# !o ge! !h"ough( Ma#e !he ones !ha! did
com+le!e school had educa!ional su++o"! %"om some-he"e else(
Also -o"!h men!ioning is !he %ac! !ha! as !he +a"!ici+an!s -e"e !a'ing !he su"$e#& I as'ed
i% an# o% !hem had hea"d o% !he McEinne#1Fen!o Ac! !ha! +"o!ec!s !hei" "igh!s( No! one
+a"!ici+an! said !he# e$e" hea"d o% !he la-( )his is !he +"olem o% a-a"eness !ha! I discussed in
!he in!"oduc!ion( A homeless liaison is su++osed !o e "e>ui"ed in !he schools as -ell as !he
con!ac! +e"son %o" in%o"ma!ion( )he schools a"e no! +"o+e"l# in%o"ming !hei" s!uden!s o% !hei"
"igh!s e%o"e !he# lea$e school& assuming !he# 'ne- !hei" si!ua!ion& -hich is no! al-a#s !he case(
<ha! a"e !he im+lica!ions %o" !eache"sG <e ma# no! e ale !o ge! !hese #ou!h ou! o%
eing homeless u! +e"ha+s -e can hel+ iden!i%# !he ones !ha! ma# e a!1"is' and "e%e" !hem !o
+"e$en!a!i$e se"$ices( Acco"ding !o !he s!a!e o% <isconsin;s educa!ion si!e& some signs !o loo' ou!
%o" in !he class"oom include: +oo" a!!endance o" %"e>uen! !a"diness& agg"ession& ch"onic hunge"
and3o" %a!igue& lac' o% mo!i$a!ion& +oo" +e"sonal h#giene& inaili!# !o con!ac! +a"en!s& and an*ie!#
!o-a"ds !he end o% !he da#( I% !eache"s can hel+ iden!i%# !hese s!uden!s !hen ma#e !he school -ill
'no- !hei" si!ua!ion ea"l# enough !o in!e"$ene(
)eache"s can also assis! !hese child"en -hile !he# a"e in !he class"oom( )he Na!ional
Cen!e" %o" Homeless Educa!ion sugges!s no! "inging a!!en!ion !o !hem in %"on! o% o!he"s&
+"o$iding snac's and class"oom su++lies i% necessa"#& gi$ing !hem class"oom :os& coo"dina!ing a
+lan -i!h !he school counselo"( )he# also sugges! holding !hese s!uden!s accoun!ale %o" -ha!
!he# can con!"ol?such as eha$io" in class@ "a!he" !han -ha! !he# canno! con!"ol?such as no!
ha$ing su++lies@( Sei%e"! and S!au%%e" also sugges!ed no! gi$ing assignmen!s -he"e !he# ma# need
!o use some!hing !he# do no! ha$e& li'e a !ele$ision o" "adio(
12
Homelessness and Academic Success
)he sugges!ions gi$en can "eall# -o"' in a class"oom in eing ale !o iden!i%# and !hen
assis! #ou!h in !hese si!ua!ions( )eache"s ha$e !o -o"' -i!h man# s!uden!s o% di%%e"en!
ac'g"ounds and should e 'no-ledgeale o% each si!ua!ion( Homeless s!uden!s should e a
+"io"i!# as school ma# e !he onl# s!aili!# !he# ha$e(
16
Homelessness and Academic Success
Re%e"ences
Cu"!is& Jona!han and o!he"s( ?A+"il 1B06@( D"o+ou! D"edic!ion( American Educational
Research Association(
Ra%%e"!#& /$onne( ?S+"ing 1BB8@( )he Legal Righ!s and Educa!ional D"olems o%
Homeless Child"en and /ou!h( American Educational Reseach Association.
Volume 17 Number 1 p.39-61
Sei%e"!& E( and S!au%%e"& C( ?June 2555@ Homeless& No! Ho+eless( An In%o"ma!ional Guide %o"
School De"sonnel( St Pauls Public School Maine(
Shannon& G( Sue and A#lsma& De!e ?2556@( Hel+ing S!uden!s Finish School: <h#
S!uden!s D"o+ Ou! and Ho- !o Hel+ )hem G"adua!e( !""ice o" Superintendent o" Public
#nstruction& Ol#m+ia& <A(
S!anle#& E#le R K Dluc'e"& Jona!han A( ?Summe" 2550@ Im+"o$ing High School
G"adua!ion Ra!es( $enter "or E%aluation and Education Polic&. Volume 6 Number
7 p.1-1'
Na!ional Cen!e" %o" Homeless Educa!ion( center.ser%e.or()nche)
De+a"!men! o% Homeless Se"$ices( ***.n&c.(o%)html)dhs)html)home)home.shtml
Ne- /o"' Ci!# De+a"!men! o% Educa!ion( schools.nyc.(o%)
No"!h Da'o!a De+a"!men! o% Educa!ion(
***.dpi.state.nd.us.)title1)homeless)resources)teacher.pd"
19
Homelessness and Academic Success
ADDENDIL
SURVEY
Ethnicity:
____African American ____Caucasian ____Hispanic ____Asian ____Native
American ____Pacific Islander ______Other
Do you have a high school diploma
_____!es ______No
If yes" did you complete it in four years
_____!es ______No If no" ho# many years
If no" chec$ off the reasons that led you to leave school early and put a star ne%t to the
one that #as the main factor&
If yes" chec$ off any things you may have e%perienced #hile in school
_____lac$ of shelter'sta(ility
_____family o(ligations
_____employment strains
_____poor grades
_____school mo(ility
_____not enough credits
_____social life #as more important
_____did not get along #ith teachers
_____lac$ of relevant curriculum
_____victim of (ullying
_____lac$ of support from family
_____suspension'e%pulsion
_____language instruction #as lac$ing
_____drug'alcohol a(use
18
Homelessness and Academic Success
_____other
Do you have a )ED
_______!es _______No
If yes" ho# old #ere you #hen you received it _____
If no" do you have plans to o(tain one
______!es ________No
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