This study examined the impact of a manualized high school transition program, the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program, on the graduation rate at a Mid-Atlantic high school located in a low-income district.
The program used 12th-grade student peer leaders to create a supportive environment for incoming 9th-grade students. Results of a randomized control trial demonstrated that male students who participated in the program during 9th grade were significantly more likely to graduate from high school within 4 years than male students in the control group (81 percent versus 63 percent). Findings suggest that peers can be effective in delivering a school-based, social emotional learning intervention and that it is possible to intervene in the 9th grade to influence the probability of high school graduation. (publisher abstract modified)