Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Dropouts -- Prevention; High school dropouts; Teachers -- Attitudes; Academic theses;


The reasons behind high school dropout have been examined for years. Previous research has focused primarily on understanding student characteristics in relation to high school dropout. However, teachers play an important role in preventing school dropout. Their beliefs about dropout may influence the way in which they interact with students, especially those they believe are at risk for dropout. Because of the critical influence teachers can have on students' educational decisions, this research sought to answer the following questions: (1) What factors do educators believe contribute to students' decision to drop out of school? and (2) What type of influence do educators believe they have on students' educational decisions? Teachers in this study stated that frequent absences, frequent trouble at school, limited parental support, low academic achievement, and trouble with the law contribute significantly to students' decisions to drop out of school. ln addition, teachers stated that their role in encouraging student persistence included building relationships, communicating caring, motivating and encouraging, and pointing to the future. However, almost a quarter of teachers stated that they have little or no influence on keeping students in school. If high school dropout is to be prevented, teachers need to develop an accurate understanding of dropout and the positive influence they can have on students at-risk of dropout.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Specialist in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Kimberly Knesting


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Date Original


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1 PDF file (47 leaves)



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