I’m honored and humbled to be part of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network’s new Fellows program. Our first efforts are already underway and hopefully will allow us to provide empirical evidence to identify those program components that are most effective at preventing dropouts and improving graduation rates for all students, particularly those most at risk of not graduating from high school.
Conducting a meta-analysis of programs will provide further insight into what we already know. Previous studies conducted by the NDPC/N and others tell us that the dropout risk factors are many and are multifaceted. The literature also helps identify methods that may help alleviate or eliminate these risk factors. But no synthesis of the literature has been conducted to establish which program components or characteristics are most successful in reducing dropout rates and improving graduation rates. I believe that such a study will allow us to strengthen existing programs by impacting policy at the local, state, and perhaps even national level to help all students graduate on time with clear pathways to a meaningful postsecondary life.