Vol 15, no 11 Header image

Dropout Prevention Update

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Update
November 2015 - Vol. 15, No. 11

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

February 14-17, 2016

Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, SC

Call for proposals is open through November 15, 2015. Submit a proposal here. 2016 National Dropout Prevention FORUM

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network—in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education; North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; University of North Carolina Wilmington Watson College of Education Dropout Prevention Coalition; Coastal Carolina University, William L. Spadoni College of Education; Communities In Schools of North Carolina; Communities In Schools of South Carolina; and The Citadel School of Education—invites you to attend the 2016 At-Risk Youth National Forum, Reaching Beyond the Risk. Featured speakers include Stacey DeWitt, BGen. Stewart Rodeheaver, and Terry Dozier. Registration is now open. For more information, link here. To register, follow this link. We hope to see you in Myrtle Beach!

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 Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities

2016 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities

Call for proposals is open through December 1, 2015. Submit a proposal here.

March 6-9, 2016

Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel

Oklahoma City, OK

2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference

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

2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

October 2-5, 2016

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Detroit, MI

National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program

Specialist Certifiation Program

We now offer a certification program for educators and those who work with and/or on behalf of students at risk of dropping out of school. The National Dropout Prevention Specialist (NDPS) certification program verifies participant knowledge and expertise in at-risk youth issues and strategies for raising graduation rates. The NDPS certification program is founded on NDPC/N’s research-based effective strategies, known youth risk factors, professional learning participation, and field implementation of acquired knowledge. If you are accepted into the program, you may begin work immediately at the very next NDPC/N conference or event. 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

“Capacity Building: STEM to STEAM in South Carolina”

November 10, 2015

3:30–4:30 PM ET

November Solutions

Despite an increase in undergraduate STEM majors, students are not choosing STEM careers. Instead, they are selecting more “transdisciplinary” fields that include the arts. Drs. Cassie Quigley and Danielle Herro discuss an innovative educational practice called STEAM (where “A” represents the arts). STEAM efforts can begin in elementary school and can help students see the creative and imaginative parts of STEM. STEAM is working to increase the participation of South Carolinians in STEM fields.

“Capacity Building: STEM to STEAM in South Carolina” focuses on:

  • the importance of deepening the content knowledge of teachers, parents, caregivers, and business partners, and why they are all invested in the success of building the STEAM Ecosystem;
  • how underserved and high-needs school districts will be incorporated into STEAM to ensure that the workforce reflects the state’s changing demographics; and
  • how the initiative will create the nation’s first STEAM Teaching Endorsement.

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

Terry Pickeral, NDPC/N Research Fellow, has created a new site for many of his postings and blogs. His topics revolve around helping youth engage, connect, and invest in their own educations and futures through encouraging and facilitating youth voice and responsibility, active learning, service-learning, and supportive climate and culture. He has just recently released an article discussing how to engage students to help adults see youth perspectives about dropout prevention strategies. Also check out this comprehensive and informative document and webpage outlining a potpourri of youth participation models.

Top Stories

With absenteeism being one of the best predictors of school dropout, initiatives to curb absenteeism are top news. Last month, the White House launched “Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism,” with support from ED, HHS, HUD, and DOJ. Components include a toolkit with guidance for schools, a national dataset and analysis on absenteeism across the nation, technical assistance to states and LEAs to implement Early Warning Systems, and a push for public-private partnerships to address school absenteeism. One promoted public-private initiative is to better utilize mentors and mentoring programs to stem chronic absenteeism. For more information on all of the activities and resources available through this initiative, link here.

Effective Strategies

Career and Technology Education

Education Week reports that Congress has set to work renewing the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Program. Some broad goals for the legislation include making it easier for schools to serve all students who want to try CTE courses, helping programs prepare students for jobs that are in demand locally, and ensuring that Perkins remains formula-based. Read the story here.

Early Childhood Education

The Washington Post reports that this school year New York City began a pre-kindergarten expansion that enrolled 65,000 four-year-olds in fully funded pre-k. Other cities and states have also recently increased publicly funded preschool. Research shows that the effects of high-quality early education can carry into adulthood, and may be especially important for children in families with low education levels or income. The percentage of U.S. three- to five-year-olds in full-day pre-kindergarten or preschool has increased since the mid-90s, but was still just over one quarter of children in 2013.

The Oklahoma Department of Education’s Web site on Early Childhood Education is an excellent resource for administrators and educators, as well as for parents and students. The site focuses on programs and services for families from birth through elementary school as well as a plethora of resources. Check it out here.

Early Literacy Development

The Thirty Million Words Initiative was started by Dr. Dana Suskind in 1990 after she found that children in lower-income families heard 30 million fewer words by age 3 than children in high-income households. Those differences in early language exposure then had an apparent ripple effect: Children from poor households ended up with smaller vocabularies and worse school performance. Dr. Suskind found a solution for this problem in the three T’s: Tune in, talk more, and take turns. Find more about the three T’s and the Thirty Million Words Initiative here.


Since 2012, the OECD has published an annual Education Policy Outlook report. The reports outline various reform efforts in countries around the globe. The reports are particularly useful for policymakers wishing to learn from efforts outside of their own national borders. Read the 2015 report here, or for more information link here.


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