Clemson, SC (October 29, 2015) – The 2015 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference was held in San Antonio, Texas, October 25-28, 2015. The conference was the nation’s largest convening of education leaders and dropout prevention practitioners on the topic of improving K-12 graduation rates in recent years. The conference was attended by over 800 participants from 48 states that included education leaders such as state superintendents, district superintendents, state department of education officials, principals, counselors, and teachers. Also represented strongly were social workers, juvenile justice personnel, truancy officials, state and community support agencies, and local school board members.
The conference featured keynote addresses by Dr. Bill Daggett and Lt. Col. (Retired) Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch. A general session addressing the importance of personal relationships with all students was led by Aric Bostick. A panel discussion addressing challenges and solutions of rural dropout prevention was led by Joaquin Tamayo from the United States Department of Education, and a panel discussing future education and technology trends was facilitated by Shawn Wilson of the Ford Motor Company Fund. The conference included a special strand of breakout sessions on the graduation rate progress made by 14 different rural states that currently participate in a federally funded rural dropout prevention project.
The conference featured 103 special interest sessions on topics ranging from truancy prevention to dropout early warning systems. The conference was attended by several groups of special guests such as 20 Call Me MISTER undergraduate students from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi, and four groups or individuals who were winners of the National Dropout Prevention Network’s 2015 Crystal Star Awards for Excellence in Dropout Recovery, Intervention, and Prevention.
The 2015 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference was attended by over 80 practitioners from across the nation who are earning credits toward National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification. The conference included entertainment by several student groups including the Air Force JROTC Honor Guard from Judson High School, the Judson High School Cantata Choir, the Irving Middle School Mariachi Band, and the Salinas Elementary School Choir.
Dr. Sandy Addis, Director of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, evaluated the conference as a tremendous success. “This was our biggest and best conference in recent years,” he said. “Our attendance was up 25% over the 2014 conference and the general and special-topic sessions were of highest quality. We were fortunate to have the assistance of numerous agencies and organizations in Texas to host this conference. We were also fortunate to have generous corporate conference supporters like the Ford Motor Company Fund and Dollar General,” Addis said.
The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, the nation’s oldest dropout prevention organization, hosts several national and regional conferences each year at various locations across the nation to train leaders and educators who work to improve graduation rates. In addition to conference offerings, the Center/Network offers research, tools, publications, and technical assistance services to improve the nation’s graduation rates. The 2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference will be held October 2-5 in Detroit, Michigan. Additional information may be found on the Center/Network’s Web site, www.dropoutprevention.org.
About the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (NDPC/N)
Established in 1986 with a mission to reduce dropout rates, the NDPC/N shares solutions for student success and dropout prevention through its clearinghouse function, active research and evaluation projects, publications, and a variety of professional development activities and conferences. The organization’s Web site—www.dropoutprevention.org—is the nation’s leading resource in providing effective, research-based solutions to engaging students and reducing dropout. The NDPC/N is housed in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina.
For Additional Information Contact:
Dr. Sandy Addis, Director
National Dropout Prevention Center/Network