An analysis of inmates in Davidson County, Tennessee: Factors that impact participation in GED programs.

Turner Nashe, Tennessee State University


This study examined the experiences of the incarcerated, school dropout population. With an ever increasing number of high school dropouts, it is imperative that educational administrators attempt to slow the regression. Jail facility educational administrators especially need to have information on ways to increase participation in GED programming within the inmate populations. This work is significant in that it provides insight into the objective and subjective nature of low participation rates by comparing perceptions of those eligible and participating as opposed to those eligible and not participating in GED programming. This study took place in Nashville, TN under the auspices of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department. There were surveys distributed to ascertain the personal experiences in the categories of previous school experiences, self concept and efficacy, peer influence, home/family influence, facility influence, and post release value of a GED. A multiple regression analysis was run among the seven categories to compare the participant and non participant populations so as to search for significant differences. It was found that there was no single contributor towards achieving the objective of increasing participation in GED programming while incarcerated. Only when considering the combination of self concept/efficacy, family/home environment, and previous school experience, were the most significant differences discovered between the two populations of inmates who participated and those that did not. No significance was found in the other areas of peer influence, facility influence, jail facility influence, post release expectation of a GED. The results of this study are useful to educational administrators both in jail facilities as well as in the general population.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|School administration|Adult education|Criminology

Recommended Citation

Turner Nashe, "An analysis of inmates in Davidson County, Tennessee: Factors that impact participation in GED programs." (2010). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3433412.