Vol 15, no 11 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update
October 2015 - Vol. 15, No. 10

2015 National Dropout Prevention Center Network Conference

2015 National Dropout Prevention Conference

October 25-28, 2015

Wyndham San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel, San Antonio, TX

It’s not too late to register and join us for the 2015 National Dropout Prevention Network conference to be held October 25-28 on the beautiful Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX! We are expecting over 1,000 teachers, counselors, administrators, practitioners, and policymakers to attend and share dropout prevention and graduation improvement challenges and solutions. This year’s theme is “TAKE A STAND For Student Success.” Ford Motor Company Fund is sure to bring some excitement to the conference as a major sponsor, and we are making a special effort to have students engaged throughout the event. Rural dropout prevention will be highlighted as well as other topics, including strengthening school, community, and family collaboration to support students struggling or at risk of dropping out of school. We are looking forward to seeing and hearing from you in San Antonio! For more information including conference fees, keynote speakers, presenters, hotel accommodations, and/or to register, visit http://dropoutprevention.org/conferences/2015-national-dropout-prevention-network-conference/. If you need assistance with registration, call us at 864-656-2599 and we’ll be glad to help.

Save the Dates!

Save the dates for the following events and stay tuned for more information and calls for proposals to present. If you need information before then, you may contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu and we’ll be glad to help.

2016 At-Risk Youth National FORUM: Reaching Beyond the Risk

2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

  • June 26-29, 2016
  • Embassy Suites Orlando-Lake Buena Vista South, Kissimmee, FL

2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

  • October 2-5, 2016
  • Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI

National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program

Start today earning your National Dropout Prevention Specialist (NDPS) certification. This national certification will verify participant knowledge and expertise in at-risk youth issues and strategies for raising graduation rates. The NDPS certification program is founded on research-based effective strategies for dropout prevention, known youth risk factors, professional learning participation, and field implementation of acquired knowledge. With multiple conferences and events being offered in 2015-2016, this is a great time to sign up and begin working toward certification. Contact us or go to this Web page for more information and to join our NDPS army of practitioners across the nation who are officially becoming better informed and networked, as well as recognized, in their fight to end the school dropout crisis.

Solutions to the Dropout Crisis

“The Emerging Scholars Program”

October 13, 2015

3:30–4:30 PM ET

Since 2002, the Emerging Scholars Program at Clemson University has helped students from low-income areas of SC move forward to a brighter future after graduating from high school. Emerging Scholars Program Director Amber Lange, and Assistant Director Jason Combs, will discuss how the Emerging Scholars program provides high school students—many of whom will be first-generation college students—mentoring for classroom success and leadership skills, the experience of living on a college campus, field trips to various types of colleges and universities, and help with the college application process. The program accepts 50-60 students annually, at no cost to them. Since its inception, more than 400 students have become “emerging scholars,” with 100% graduating from high school, and 90% going on to college or into the military within a year of graduation.

Link here on the day of the broadcast to join us for this program. Viewing this webcast is free and no registration is required. Tune in the second Tuesday of each month at 3:30 PM ET for new Solutions to the Dropout Crisis.

From Our Research Fellows

Dr. Rob Shumer, NDPC/N Research Fellow, brought to our attention a recent post from two middle-school history/social studies teachers discussing ways to plan history lessons to align with Common Core’s focus on the development of 21st century skills. Read the blog post from MiddleWeb.

Dr. Shumer also suggests “Top Four Graduation Rate Takeaways,” a one pager from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASCD) presenting the following trends in graduation rates: (1) the high school graduation rate is the highest it has ever been; (2) until recently, state-by-state and long-term comparisons were difficult due to varying measurement methods; (3) despite the increasing graduation rate, gaps between subgroups remain; and (4) the increase in the national graduation rate is due to focused, local efforts as opposed to broad, sweeping changes. ASCD also presents an interactive map you can use to find out the extent to which students in your area are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Dr. Pat O’Connor, NDPC/N Research Fellow, writes a regular feature article in the magazine Around Kent, on the topic of “The Road Less Traveled.” Dr. O’Connor highlights the meandering pathways that some of the most creative and talented people have taken to find fascinating and satisfying careers. Visit http://www.aroundkentohio.com/ and read some of these career pathways stories.

Top Stories

U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, announced his resignation on October 2. Read some of the mixed reaction and statements in this Washington Post blog post.

Read a new report from America’s Promise Alliance, Don't Quit on Me: What Young People Who Left School Say About the Power of Relationships. The report examines, from the perspective of young people themselves, the impact that relationships have on decisions to stay in, leave, or return to high school, and shows that having a network of supports can boost young people’s chances of staying in school. This is consistent with NDPC/N’s effective strategy research that stresses the importance of school-community collaboration, family engagement, and adult and peer influences.

Effective Strategies

School-Community Collaboration

See how a barber from Dubuque, Iowa, reinforced the importance of reading by offering free haircuts to children who would read to him. Read the story here.

Family Engagement

See how parents of one school in Canton Georgia were able to foster an effective family and school partnership through 100% involvement from parents in the PTA program. Check out the story here.

Early Interventions

With school systems across the country initiating fully-funded pre-K programs, a recent Child Trends Databank report, Preschool and Prekindergarten, presents some research behind the efforts. Gain a detailed look into how different socioeconomic factors influence children enrolled in pre-K programs.


Read a recent report from MENTOR National Mentoring Partnership, The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring.


Policy Matters is an educational webcast which focuses on the premise that sustained positive change in the education of youth and well thought-out policies that encourage student success at all points along the education continuum need to be in place at local districts and states, and in federal policies. The webcast features state and community leaders as well as faculty and staff from Clemson University. Watch the series here.


Child Trends released a new World Family Map 2015 report last month that monitors the global health of families by tracking 16 indicators in 49 countries, representing all regions of the world. This year’s report includes an essay examining how parents divide labor-force participation, housework, and childcare. Read more here.


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