Making Sense of the Evidence: A Review of Dropout Prevention Strategies

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Webcast Details

Aired on: December 9th, 2014

3:30–4:30 p.m. (ET)

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Our Guest(s) This Week

Shanan Chappell

Shanan Chappell holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Old Dominion University and serves as an analyst at the university’s Center for Educational Partnerships. She is a charter member of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Research Fellows with research pursuits including educational policy studies, college and career readiness initiatives, teacher preparation programs, and educational technology initiatives. Dr. Chappell previously served as an analyst for a randomized-controlled trial conducted by the Regional Education Lab, Appalachia, as Research Consultant in the Sparks Bureau of Business and Economics Research at the University of Memphis, among several other positions. She has authored or co-authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and technical reports, including publications in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, Preventing School Failure, and the NAASP Bulletin.

This Week's Topic

Over the past three decades, researchers and organizations have sought to identify those factors that put students at risk of dropping out of high school. As we become familiar with dropout risk factors, it has also become clear that we need to determine the best strategies to reduce or eliminate the risks.

Although numerous evaluations have been conducted on the impact of dropout prevention programs, there is little evidence that relates particular program strategies to dropout and graduation rates. We conducted this study to provide sound evidence of the most effective program strategies for preventing dropout and improving graduation rates for all students.

We examined over 50 studies with about 37,000 participants to identify those dropout prevention strategies that have the strongest probability of positively impacting student outcomes. In this Solutions webcast, we will discuss our findings and explore ways that we can assist schools in selecting those strategies that ad- dress their particular school’s issues.

It is our ultimate goal that our findings will become influential in policy and practice as they will allow schools to “personalize” programs that have the best chances of promoting students be- yond high school onto meaningful college or career pathways.


Center for Educational Partnerships. (2014).

Hammond, C., Smink, J., & Drew, S. (2007).  Dropout risk factors and exemplary programs: A technical reportNational Dropout Prevention Center.

NDPC Model Program Database(2014).

Study Design 101 – Meta-Analysis. (2011).

Gail M. Sullivan, MD, M. P. H., & Richard Feinn, P. D. (2012). Using Effect Size –or Why the P Value Is Not EnoughJournal of Graduate Medical Education, 4(3), 279–282.

What is a meta-analysis?. (1997).

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