Vanessa Pellington

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Hill, Gloria


Teenage mothers; High school students--Counseling of


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


This qualitative research study explored the perceptions of young student mothers in high school regarding their experiences in homogeneous advisory groupings as compared to heterogeneous advisory groupings. An extensive review of the literature revealed a gap in research regarding the grouping methods for non-academic classes, such as advisory program groupings (Benson & Poliner, 2013; Galassi, et al., 1998; Hallam, et al., 2004; Song, et al., 2009; Weilbacher & Lanier, 2012). The purpose of this qualitative research study was to add to the body of knowledge that addresses the types of advisory grouping students perceive best meet their needs. In this study, an analysis of the twelve in-depth semi-structured one-on-one student interviews highlighted the importance of relationships and commonality in advisory groupings. The findings revealed that the overall advisory experiences in both heterogeneous and homogeneous advisory groups were directly related to the relationships the participants had with their peers and their advisors. Additionally, the commonality of motherhood discussed by the majority of participants suggests that grouping subgroups of students with common interests or needs may be an important consideration when grouping advisories, especially when working with students at risk for not graduating from high school. It is imperative that regardless of the advisory structure or program in place, school administrators ensure that students are afforded the opportunity to foster positive relationships with peers and advisors in non-academic settings such as advisory programs. For some students, participation in an effective advisory program could be the determining factor in the achievement of the goal of high school graduation.