Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)


Department of Social Work


Cynthia Hunter


This honors research project explores the features of Title III requirements as they relate to the actual experience of students and their families. This paper synthesizes my experience researching English as a Second Language (ESL) specific supports and policy to inform my time spent accompanying an upper-level administrator for the Harrisonburg City Public School (HCPS) system, and interviewing professionals at an area school. In this paper I outline the results of interviews with 13 service providers. Interviews examined the “letter of the law” and the subsequent “spirit of the law” through application of a social work lens to the different ESL supports available to HCPS.

For the purpose of this research, policy broadly refers to the ways in which Title III addresses English Learners’ (ELs) academic achievement and English language proficiency, as well as language instruction educational programs (LIEPs) for teachers (Virginia Department of Education, n.d.). The general aim of the study is to investigate how service providers make use of/implement policy requirements in order to effectively reach their students. The significance of this research includes gaining a deeper understanding of the intersection between policy priorities, and the realities of implementation.

Keywords: ESL, policy priority, policy implementation, immigrant, mental health, community



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