National Dropout
Prevention Specialist
Certification Program

The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) is pleased to offer the National Dropout Prevention Specialist (NDPS) certification program for educators and at-risk youth workers. The certification verifies knowledge and expertise in at-risk youth issues and strategies for raising graduation rates. The NDPS certification program is founded on NDPC’s research-based effective strategies, known youth risk factors, professional learning participation, and field implementation of acquired knowledge. 

Program Eligibility

NDPS participants must either:

  • Be employed or actively engaged in the field of education and/or;
  • Work in the area of at-risk youth services or in a similar setting.

Application and Program Requirement

NDPS participants must: 

  • Complete and submit the NDPS application electronically.
    • The application and processing fee is $450.00 effective January 15, 2020, and includes a one-year individual membership to the National Dropout Prevention Center. This fee is refundable in the event of non-acceptance to the program.
  • Complete the program’s professional learning requirements.
  • Complete and submit a field project report.

Completing Professional Learning Requirements

Participants must meet the professional learning requirement of addressing 12 or more of the different research-based effective strategies. This can be met through both: 

  • Attendance at NDPS professional learning events
    • Participants may self-select from identified event sessions offered at NDPC conferences and training events. Event sessions are coded with the effective strategy addressed in order to facilitate easy selection by NDPS participants.
    • A transcript report form is provided at the conference and allows participants to maintain a record of sessions attended and strategies addressed. At the conclusion of the event, the transcript report form is submitted to the registration
      desk or emailed to

Professional learning costs such as event registration, travel, and online professional development courses are the responsibility of the program participant. 

Completing and Submitting the Field Project Report

Submit and share a field project 

Certification Benefits

NDPS certificate holders will:

  • Receive documentation of current and research-based expertise in multiple areas of dropout prevention and at-risk youth services from NDPC, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization.
  • Be recognized on NDPC’s website,, the nation’s leading resource for dropout prevention information, as having completed the NDPS certification program.
  • Share dropout prevention expertise and achievements through NDPC’s posting of field project reports.

Application and Program Requirements

Questions about the program? Contact us at

The NDPS professional learning requirement can be met by attending NDPC conference event sessions sufficient to address 12 or more different research-based effective strategies. Participants may self-select from identified event sessions offered at selected NDPC training events, such as the annual National Dropout Prevention Conference, the annual At-Risk Youth National FORUM, or the annual National Forum on Dropout Prevention. NDPC event sessions are coded to applicable effective strategies to facilitate easy selection by NDPS participants. Professional learning costs such as event registration, travel, and online professional development courses are the responsibility of the participant.

The NDPS field project requirement is met by submission of a Field Project Report, which will be shared worldwide with other practitioners via the NDPC website.

Upon program admission, participants will receive detailed instructions for professional learning participation, field project completion, and program completion.

National Dropout Prevention Specialist Requirements 
NDPC Effective Strategies for Dropout Prevention

To learn more about the field project requirement, check out this video presentation and accompanying PowerPoint.

Upon completion of the Field Project, NDPS Certification Program participants should submit the Field Project Report to Receipt of your submission will be acknowledged and your Field Project Report will be sent to the NDPS Field Project Editor for review and further communication regarding the report if needed.

Certified Dropout Prevention Specialists

Certified Dropout Prevention Specialists complete a professional learning program founded in the Center’s 15 Effective Dropout Prevention Strategies, document their experience by completion of a job-embedded field project, and serve as a national resource for others who work with at-risk youth.

Meet the Certified Dropout Prevention Specialists, and access their Field Project Reports.

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors