At Risk Students; Fact sheet on Society & School System

What is considered at- risk students:

  • The students can be termed or considered at risk for having academic success in their higher education for different reasons.
  • Manning & Baruth (1995) states that this category of student’s knowledge, skills, academic ability and motivation are very much below those of normal students in the curriculum or college in which they are enrolled.
  • Furthermore, these students have a likelihood of displaying any form of characteristics like unrealistic grades, low self concept in academic, expectations in careers, career objectives that are unfocussed, external locus of control, extrinsic motivation, low self efficacy, a belief that the process of learning is entirely of memorization, study skills that are inadequate for college success, and passive learning history.

What are some examples which a student is considered to be an at-risk student?

  • At risk students may be the students who have made bad decisions or choices that negatively impacted on their own academics, or they may be a student considered adult who comes back for higher education after a very long absence and may be those who wants to commit suicide.
  • Advising services should be designed to address the academic needs and characteristics of at risk students and underprepared students effectively (Manning & Baruth, 1995).

Read also: At- Risk Students

Advisory services for this students group

  • These include provision of visual means of information dissemination and peer advisors before they see their professional advisors.
  • Furthermore, the advisors should be aware that this student groups benefit mostly from the personal attention from advising sessions that focus on the self confidence development of students and their ability in making sound decisions.
  • Manning & Baruth (1995) suggested application of an intrusive advising approach that insist on collaborative relationships with resources of the campus, and encourage advisers to make investments in the student to assist them in gaining a sense of belonging.

 Suicide as a risk among the high school students in U.S. is the third leading death cause with over sixteen percent at least once attempting suicide

These statistics, which is startling, is provided by the CDC states that more than 14% who have considered suicide seriously, those who have planned their death to commit suicide being at 11%, 26% have felt hopeless or sad, and finally 20%report bullying in the property of the school (Mikaelsen, 2005). Since most of the time of the teenagers is spent in school, educators are choosing to play the defense at the frontline against this preventable and serious public health problem

Programs used to assist at- risk students and their families: 

Policies and Programs and policies that assist at-risk students should include: “individualized interventions” where they can also get one-on-one mentoring. Individualized intervention can include:

  1. Overall management approach according to each individual case, which can provide support to the student(s).
  2. Provide into the school setting family counseling, treatment for substance abuse, legal help, child care and health services to the family. This helps to meet the overall needs of a student and helps to handle each individual case effectively.
  3. Programs where every student is mentored by at least one adult leading to the development of meaningful relationships (student feels someone cares)
  4. Providing federal and state funding to provide services for these students at the local level.
  5. RTII (Response to Instruction and Intervention) programs that create an individualized intervention aimed at a student’s level and need requirement.
  6. Programs that connect school success to economic development and community efforts.
  7. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001: a government aid program for disadvantaged students. The federal legislation ever passed by congress is the most far reaching that affects education
  8. Programs that develop measure to help deal the various risks that the children raised by the single parents are exposed to.
  9. One of the largest federal programs in K-12 education funded at more than $26.4 billion in the 2008 school year.
  10. The Title found in the program based on the children census counts sends  money to the district schools in smaller groups, for instance, foster children, homeless children and those living in correctional institutions
  11. Remediation programs- designed to bring underprepared students to expected skill competency levels.
  12. Programs that help children from the single parent families learn how to adjust attitude towards parenting
  13. Programs that include bilingual instruction
  14. Close follow up procedures on truancy and absenteeism

Truancy: any intentional unauthorized or illegal absence from compulsory education. 


Noel, L., Levitz, R., & American College Testing Program. (1982). How to succeed with academically underprepared students: A catalog of successful practices. S.l.: ACT National Center for the Advancement of Educational Practices. Retrieved from

Pat walsh. (2005). At Risk Students at. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Retrieved from

Aldridge, J., & Goldman, R. L. (2007). Current issues and trends in education (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon. Retrieved from

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