Keeping Youth In School – How Service-Learning Can Help!

The National Dropout Prevention Center has long advocated service-learning as a teaching methodology with considerable potential to prevent dropouts. Today’s program will give you an overview of service-learning and just how to effectively incorporate specific strategies to promote youth engagement in the service-learning process in order to foster their resilience.

  • Learn about the principles of service-learning and how it can engage students in their learning.
  • Discover how it can develop leadership and workplace skills as well as foster resilience.


Presentation Slides  pdf

Bridgeland, J. M., DiIulio, Jr., J. J., & Wulsin, S. C. (2008).  Engaged for Success: Service-Learning as a Tool for High School Dropout PreventionWashington, D.C. : Civic Enterprises.

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. (2008).

National Youth Leadership Council (2005).  Service-Learning Cycle pdf.

National Youth Leadership Council (2008).  Service-Learning Standards pdf.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2012).  The Linking Learning With Life Series of Service-Learning Guidebooks.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2008).  Video: 2008 Youth Spirit of Service Award Winner, Nick Metrakos talks about service-learning.

Video: Bring Learning to Life(2008).

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2008).  Video: The late Bernard Gill talks about engaging African American males through service-learning.

Middle College High School: A Meaningful Option

Middle college high schools are small high schools for students with academic potential who are not succeeding in traditional high schools or who have already dropped out. These students tend to be disconnected from regular high school for a variety of reasons. These schools, located on college campuses, limit enrollment to 140 students or less, and operate on a different structure, location, and schedule. The challenges in this innovative idea will be shared, and implementation strategies will be discussed.


Presentation Slides pdf.

Wechsler, H. S., & Reese, W. J. (2001).  Access to Success in the Urban High School: The Middle College MovementNew York, NY : Teachers College Press.

Grier, T. B., & Peterson, K. D. (2006).  Middle College High Schools: A Meaningful Option for Disconnected High School StudentsEffective Strategies.

Middle College National Consortium pdf(2010).

NDPC/N Newsletter: Middle College – Volume 17, Number 4(2005).

Vargas, J., & Quiara, J. (2010).  Policies Paved the Way: Early College Innovation in North Carolina pdf.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2008).  Video: The Middle College High School Program In Action.

U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences (2007).  What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report: Middle College High School pdf.

Strategic Planning to Improve the Graduation Rate

Systemic Renewal is one of the NDPC 15 Effective Strategies. Learn how one school system has used this process of planning and continuous review of results to help keep students in school.

The Fargo Public Schools, Fargo, ND, never suffered from the severely low graduation rates experienced in some areas of the country. However, in the upper Midwest, with an exceptional work ethic and high value placed on education, an 83% graduation rate was considered unacceptable. In 2003, the Fargo Schools contracted with the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University to conduct a Program Assessment and Review (PAR). PAR is a systemic assessment and planning process to assist schools and school districts to plan solutions for keeping students in school and improving graduation rates. The PAR provided the school district with ten recommendations, and the district has been building on those suggestions, bringing the graduation rate up to 90%. Deb Dillon, Fargo Public Schools Director of Alternative Programs, has been coordinating these efforts, and she will share the process the district has used.


Presentation Slides pdf.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2009).  A Planned Approach to Increase Graduation Rates: The Integration of a Dropout Early Warning System Into a Program Planning Process.

Drew, S. (2009).  A Systemic Approach for Dropout Prevention pdf.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2009).  Audio: Deb Dillon Gives a Brief Overview of Fargo’s Strategic Planning With PAR.

Fargo Strategic Dropout Prevention Plan pdf(2009).

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (1990).  Planning Effectively for Resource Collaboration pdf

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2010). Program Assessment and Review (PAR).

Service-Learning: A Dropout Prevention Strategy and MORE!

Real, relevant, engaging – an excellent formula for students to move toward success.

How does service-learning bring together best teaching strategies to create authentic education, provide meaning and purpose, and motivate youth to be involved? And why do these elements keep our youth in school and move them from surviving to thriving?

Across this country, service-learning is increasingly viewed as an effective part of a dropout prevention plan. Find out:

  • What is service-learning?
  • How does service-learning work?
  • What practical ideas can be put to use to see results?

Generate success and build transferable skills that lead to inner confidence all youth need to succeed and to thrive! Keep in mind that service-learning is academic, rigorous, and filled with genuine opportunities for students to apply their ideas, interests, skills, and talents toward the common good – a win-win for all involved.

Internationally renowned speaker and author Cathryn Berger Kaye brings years of experience as a classroom teacher and program developer of service learning ideas and practices that are used across the country. She is known for providing easy-to-use information built on substantial proven strategies that bring classrooms to life. Who benefits? Students, and their teachers, schools, and families – and the communities they impact.

Join this radio webcast for good stories, practical ideas, and resources you can use!


Presentation Slides  pdf

ABCD Books and CBK Associates(2010).

Audio: An Invitation from the National Dropout Prevention Center(2009).

Go To Service-Learning(2009).

Learn and Serve America. (2008).

National Service-Learning Clearinghouse(2010)

National Service-Learning Partnership. (2009)

National Youth Leadership Council(2012).

Kaye, C. B. (1998).  Parent Involvement in Service-LearningLinking Learning with Life.

Kaye, C. B. (2010).  Service-Learning: A Dropout Prevention Strategy and MORE! pdf.

Video: Bring Learning to Life. (2008).

What Kids Can Do (WKCD)(2009).

Youth Service America(2010).


Building the Foundation for School Success: Introducing The Parent-Child Home Program

Preparing children to enter school with the cognitive and social-emotional skills they need to be successful students is critical to bridging the achievement gap. The Parent-Child Home Program, a school readiness program replicated in communities across the country, successfully prepares two- and three-year-olds to enter school ready to learn. Working with parents and children together, the model effectively builds the language, pre-literacy, and social-emotional skills, and parent involvement necessary for academic success. Forty-five years of research and evaluation establishes the Program’s success.

  • What can be done to help parents prepare their children for success in school?
  • What does the research say about these early interventions?


Presentation Slides pdf.

Kindergarten Readiness and School Success for Buffalo Parent-Child Home Program Graduates pdf(2010).

Learning how to play pdf(2010).  The Boston Globe.

Partnership for America’s Economic Success. (2010)

Recipe for Success in South Carolina pdf(2010).

Soaring to Success Through Books and Play pdf(2010).

The Parent-Child Home Program(2010).

The Parent-Child Home Program at a Glance pdf(2010).

Title I-Eligible Parent-Child Home Program Graduates Are Better Prepared For Kindergarten(2010).

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2010).  Video: Parent-Child Home Program.

Successful Summers: The Role of High-Quality Summer Learning in High School Completion

How young people spend their time during the summer months has a proven effect on academic achievement, graduation rates, and preparation for college. The mission of the National Summer Learning Association is to connect and equip schools and community organizations to deliver quality summer learning programs to our nation’s youth to help close the achievement gap. During this webcast you’ll learn about the risks associated with a lack of high-quality summer learning opportunities for youth, find out what makes a quality program, understand the policy context, and hear examples of successful summer program-related graduation outcomes.


Presentation Slides pdf.

Afterschool Alliance(2010).

National Summer Learning Association Doesn’t Every Child Deserve A Memorable Summer? pdf.

National Summer Learning Association(2009).

National Summer Learning Association’s New Vision for Summer School(2010).

NDPC/N Newsletter: A New Vision of Summer Learning – Volume 21, Number 3 pdf(2010).

Balfanz, R. (2009).  Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path  pdf Westerville, OH : National Middle School Association.

Reading Rockets – Summer Reading(2010).

Bottoms, G. (2008).  Redesigning the Ninth-Grade Experience pdfAtlanta, GA : Southern Regional Education Board.

References for Webcast – Successful Summers: The Role of High-Quality Summer Learning in High School Completion pdf(2010).

Research in Brief: Summer Can Set Kids on the Right – or Wrong – Course pdf.

Research Notes on Early Warning and Off-track Indicators of High School Graduation pdf(2010).

Summer Learning Day is June 21 – host an event!(2009).

Summer Reading Video(2010)

Arnold, K., Fleming, S., DeAnda, M., Castleman, B., & Wartman, K. L. (2009).  The Summer Flood: The Invisible Gap Among Low-Income StudentsNEA Thought & Action pdf, Fall 2009, 23-34.


Beyond the Bully Pulpit: The Mayor’s Role in Dropout Prevention

  • How can elected officials, in particular mayors, be engaged in dropout prevention?
  • What can school officials and citizens do to engage their elected officials?

Dropout prevention is everyone’s responsibility. This webcast will focus on how communities can mobilize around a comprehensive dropout prevention planning process and how citizens and school leaders can engage their mayors and elected officials in the effort. We will also specifically analyze the value that an engaged mayor can add to the process, including taking the lead in creating a unified community value in support of higher educational attainment and increased graduation rates.


Presentation Slides  pdf

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2010).  Audio: Interview with Ed Lambert.

Swanson, C. B. (2009).  Cities in Crisis: Closing the Graduation Gap pdfBethesda, MD : Editorial Projects in Education, Inc..

Dropout Prevention in the South Coast pdf(2009).   North Dartmouth, MA : University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Urban Initiative.

NLC Institute forYouth, Education, and Families Improving Public Schools Action Kit pdf.

Mayoral Leadership and Involvment in Education: Action Guide for Success pdf.

National League of Cities(2010).

United States Conference of Mayors(2010).

Urban Initiative at UMass/Dartmouth(2010).

US Conference of Mayors Best Practices Guide pdf(2008).

Strategies for Creating Socially Inclusive School Communities for ALL Students

In this presentation, participants will be navigating connections between inclusive school climate strategies and dropout prevention initiatives. We will also be exploring strategies for achieving authentic inclusion in schools as developed through Special Olympics Project UNIFY models. Project UNIFY is an education- and sports-based program started by Special Olympics in 2008, designed to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities, as well as empower them to become youth leaders and speak up for change in their community.

  • Learn how Project UNIFY empowers all youth as change agents through a combination of sports and education in schools across the country.
  • See how these socially inclusive school climates provide environments where ALL students can grow, learn, and thrive.


Presentation Slides  pdf

Inclusive Youth Leadership Guidebook. (2012).

NASBE’s State Education Standard Looks at the Importance of Social Inclusion in Schools(2013).

NDPC/N Newsletter: Project UNIFY – Volume 22, Number 1  pdf. (2011).

Notes for Powerpoint  pdf(2013).

Project UNIFY(2013).

Project UNIFY Educators Toolkit  pdf(2013).

Project UNIFY Year 4 Evaluation Report(2013).

School Climate Online Database: Laws and Policies(2013).

School Climate Resource for Project UNIFY  pdf(2012).

Special Olympics Get Into It(2013).

Upstander Alliance. National School Climate Center(2013).


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