Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Jennifer Henk

Committee Member

Gary Ritter

Second Committee Member

Mardell Crandall

Keywords

Language, literature and linguistics; Education; Arkansas; Head start; Literacy development

Abstract

Two different publicly funded preschool programs exist within Arkansas: Head Start and the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) program. Though philosophically similar, the different programs have dramatically different income eligibility guidelines resulting in classrooms with differing levels of economic diversity. Independent samples t-tests were conducted on initial, final, and growth scores in Personal and Social Development and in the area of Language and Literacy Development. The program with higher income guidelines had higher initial and final scores, but mixed growth scores. Multiple regression analyses indicated that starting score was the single greatest predictor of growth and of final scores. Growth was inversely but significantly linked to start score, while final score was significantly linked to start score. No single factor had greater predictive power than starting score. Neither the ABC classroom nor the Head Start classroom demonstrated a significant benefit in growth or final score outcomes at p=0.05.

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