Model Program


Academy for the Arts, Science, & Technology
895 International Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579

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Contact Information:
Ms. Julie A. Hardwick
Guidance Counselor

Program Specification:






Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

High School




Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities

over-age beginning 9th graders


The Connect program located in Horry County Schools in South Carolina, makes it possible for over-age, at-risk students to graduate from high school in three years with the marketable skills that employers are seeking. These students meet the same diploma requirements and take the same standardized tests as other students in the state. The difference is that the Connect program focuses multiple resources on preparing a target group of over-age, at-risk students to become productive citizens after high school graduation. Support Team Meetings (STMs) are held by parents, student, teachers, counselors, and admin (if available) to address the needs of the student. Each staff member begins with a positive statement about the child. STMs are typically held to address problems, but are also used to celebrate successes. Meetings conclude with a plan to address student's needs.

Program Descriptors Include:
Alternative Education, Attendance/Truancy, Career Education, Community Collaboration, Computer Assisted Instruction, Counseling/Advisories/Coaches, Credit Recovery, Family/Parental Involvement, Mentoring/Tutoring, Service Learning, Students with Disabilities, Study Skills

Strategies for Locating Students:
Newspaper ads, Television ads/radio announcements, Online videos

Starting Date: 2006
Students Served Per Year: 50-250
Reenrolled Students with Disabilities: 25% or more
Last Verified: 2010

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • Has a learning disability or emotional disturbance
  • High number of work hours
  • Parenthood
  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Highly socially active outside of school
  • Low achievement
  • Retention/overage for grade
  • Poor attendance
  • Low educational expectations
  • Lack of effort
  • Low commitment to school
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior
  • Early aggression

Family factors

  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Low education level of parents
  • Large number of siblings
  • Not living with both natural parents
  • Family disruption
  • Low educational expectations
  • Sibling(s) has dropped out
  • Low contact with school

School factors

  • School math achievement
  • School policies and practices
  • Student engagement
  • Teacher expectations

Community factors

  • Family composition/socioeconomic status
  • Local labor market/neighborhood stability
  • Youth social attitudes

Program promotes the following:


  • Presence and involvement of caring, supportive adults
  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Good relationships with parents, peers, and teachers
  • Involvement with positive peer activities
  • Perception of support from adults and peers


  • Comprehensive diagnostic systems
  • Early warning systems
  • Personalized instruction and learning
  • Rigorous and relevant instruction
  • Academic support
  • Instruction on behavior and social skills
  • Supportive school climate
  • Development of vocational skills
  • Encourage family involvement/community supports
  • Teach self-determination and self-advocacy skills including student/person-centered planning
  • Eliminate practices that push students out of school
  • Help students to address problems that interfere with learning

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

The annual cost range of the program is $200,000 - $500,000 or over $2000 per student.

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

State Agencies
Local/City/County Agencies
School Districts

Social Workers

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Instructional Texts/Manuals
Computer/Internet Based


Evaluation Information:

How evaluation data was collected:
Data collected and analyzed at school/district level
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level