School of Education
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)
High School Dropout, Dropout Prevention, At-risk Students
Education | Educational Leadership | Secondary Education
Crocker, Sasha Davila, "Reducing High School Dropout: An Instrumental Case Study of Successful High School Dropout Prevention" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2060.
The purpose of this instrumental case study was to understand the dramatic reduction in dropouts in a rural high school in central North Carolina. Dramatic reduction in dropouts is generally defined by having reduced the school’s dropout rate by at least 50% in less than three years. The theories guiding this study were social learning theory and the stage theory of organizational change. The research questions were as follows: (1) How did the high school drastically reduce the dropout rate? (2) What was the role of each key informant in reducing the dropout rate? The data collection processes included individual interviews, focus groups, document analysis, and a researcher’s journal. Data analysis consisted of coding, comparative analysis, and direct interpretations. The results of the study indicated that the school successfully reduced the dropout rate by forming flexible plans for at-risk students, building positive relationships between the staff and students, and utilizing the small environment.