Alternative education programs are often viewed as individualized opportunities designed to meet the educational needs for youth identified as at-risk for school failure. Increasingly, these programs have been identified as programs for disruptive youth who have been referred from traditional schools. The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of the administrative structures and physical facilities of alternative education programs and to describe the student population and educational services being offered to youth attending such programs. The findings suggest programs appear to be largely site-based programs, often operating in physical facilities with limited access to academic supports. The student population appears to be mostly high school students with a large portion of students identified as disabled. The general education curriculum is reported as a predominant course of study among alternative schools, supplemented with vocational education. Students appear to be provided with a number of school and community support activities. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


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pp. 10-21
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