School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Joseph Fontanella


American Indian Dropouts, High School Students, Native American, Suspension, Title VII, Indian Education Programs


The North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs (NCCIA) works collaboratively with The North Carolina State Advisory Council on Indian Education (SACIE) to support educational agencies with large populations of American Indian and Alaska Native students. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) and the North Carolina SACIE identified the American Indian students as having one of the highest dropout rates in North Carolina. This quantitative study employed a design combining causal comparative and correlational methods to examine the relationship between high school dropout and suspension rates among American Indian high school students enrolled in school districts that provide Title VII Indian Education Programs and school districts that do not provide Title VII Indian Education Programs. The findings of the study indicated that there was a significant effect of the Title VII Indian Education Program on high school male and female Native American engagement as evident by lower student dropout rates. There was no effect on student participation on long or short term suspension rates, however, there was a relationship between the student suspension rates and dropout rates of the study participants.