A Proven Solution for Dropout Prevention
Dropout prevention is the key to raising the graduation rate. Most of the time when students dropout they never go back to school. In this day and age students are expected to graduate high school and be prepared to go into the work force, enter further education or enlist in the military. If students do not do this they are less likely to become a productive member of society. Yet, research says nearly 25% of America’s youth are not completing high school on time. The dropout rate in low-income communities is much higher. Consequently, these young people are not prepared for future success.
The main reasons provided by the students for dropping out of school are well documented over the last 10 years. The main reason focus on students not be satisfied with school policies and practices. In addition, students in high-risk circumstances demonstrate a high disengagement with school. This sometimes starts at a very young age. Sometimes this happens even before starting school. These are the most common reasons provided by students:
- I do not like school.
- I do not like the teachers.
- The material being covered was of no value to me.
- I have family issues.
The National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University has identified and extensive set of risk factors associated with dropping out of school. These risk factors are organized into four domains: Individual (student) Factors, Family Factors, School Factors, and Community factors. The student factors include lack of future orientation, low academic achievement levels, low attendance, and special learning needs. The family factors include low socioeconomic status, low expectations for schooling, and mobility of family, and language and literacy levels of the family. School factors include lack of alternatives for learning opportunities, no individual learning plans for students, unfair behavior and disciplines issues, and retention policies. The community factors includes lack of community involvement, lack of support for schools, high levels of violence and drug abuse, and few recreational facilities. Unfortunately, there is no one answer to reduce the unacceptably high dropout rate across America. A wide range of strategies are needed to improve the high school graduation rate. One of the promising tools that is being used is quality afterschool and summer learning programs. These after school and summer learning programs are aligned with effective, research-based dropout prevention programs. These initiatives can be integrated in order to generate increase school attendance, continued student academic gains and improved behavioral patterns, all leading to increased graduation rate.