Our History


Nation’s Leading School Improvement Non-Profits Join Forces


The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) was begun in 1986 to serve as a clearinghouse on issues related to dropout prevention and to offer strategies designed to increase the graduation rate in America’s schools. Over the years, the NDPC has become a well-established national resource for sharing solutions for student success. It does so through its clearinghouse function, active research and evaluation projects, publications, and through a variety of professional development activities. In addition, the NDPC conducts a variety of third-party evaluations and Program Assessment and Reviews (PAR).


The National Dropout Prevention Center Thirtieth Anniversary Interviews

NDPC Director Dr. Sandy Addis reflects on the early days of dropout prevention work at the National Dropout Prevention Center with founding Director Dr. Dick Hamby, and longtime Executive Director Dr. Jay Smink, director for 25 of the Center’s 30 years at Clemson University. From identifying dropouts in the early years, to finding programs and projects and identifying successful strategies in communities, these distinguished gentlemen laid the foundation for our continued work in dropout prevention.


The National Dropout Prevention Center Thirtieth Anniversary Program

A look at 30 years. The National Dropout Prevention Center’s Thirtieth Anniversary Program was held October 24, 2016. The program opened with interviews with John Peters, Mr. Joseph and Dr. Judith Pauley, former Director Dr. Dick Hamby, Marty Duckenfield, former Executive Director Dr. Jay Smink, and Founding Dean Dr. George Petersen, and features video messages from the states of South Carolina, North Dakota, Montana, and California. The program includes contributions and remarks from NDPN Chair Mr. Bob Collins, and remarks from Director Dr. Sandy Addis, College of Education Founding Dean Dr. George Petersen, Governor and United States Secretary of Education Mr. Richard “Dick” Riley, former Executive Director Dr. Jay Smink, and Clemson University Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Robert H. Jones.



The National Dropout Prevention Center: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years 

A video celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network in 2011. A look at the early history of the Center, from the National Dropout Prevention Fund, to the creation and merging of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network, to the Fifteen Effective Strategies. The Center opened its doors on October 26, 1986, to research why students dropped out, and to create a network of the dissemination of information and resources easily accessible to educators, communities, policy leaders, and business leaders.