Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Jordan R. Humphrey


This project examines the historical barriers and challenges of chronic absenteeism and truancy and offers an intervention strategy aimed at reducing these rates at one specific school, Emil G. Hirsch High School in Chicago, IL. The detrimental effects problematic absenteeism has on individual students, schools, the Department of Education, and the community has been researched extensively. Building on this existing literature, this project explores further the mitigating factors for chronic absenteeism and truancy and proposes a new intervention strategy to increase student attendance rates. The Attendance Improvement Program was designed through this capstone project-draws on elements of social control theory and existing literature on best practices to develop and then implement realizable strategies for addressing chronic absenteeism and truancy, that included frequent needs assessments, a reward, and incentive structure, and collaboration between community stakeholders, parents, and teachers. This pilot program aims to decrease student absenteeism and truancy rates at Emil G. Hirsch High School through programmatic elements that include repeated student/parent needs assessments, reward and incentive structures, and activities offered in collaboration with community stakeholders, parents, and teachers. The Attendance Improvement Program also has the potential to serve as a model for other low-performing, urban schools facing similar issues with chronic absenteeism and truancy to consider. Practical strategies and recommendations to reduce and eventually end chronic absenteeism and truancy in the institution are derived from a set of best practices identified through a comprehensive literature review. More specifically, needs assessment, rewards, counseling programs, and parent-teacher collaboration will be utilized to reduce truancy and chronic absenteeism in Hirsch High School.