Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Oftentimes, educators are not equipped to identify students who are at risk of dropping out in their first year of high school. High school students at a local school setting were having a difficult time transitioning into the ninth grade and maintaining passing grades. The purpose of this study was to investigate reasons why students leave high school before completion and whether the current interventions in the ninth grade academy are effective in decreasing the dropout rate at a local high school in northeast Louisiana. The research question addressed interventions that could help students remain in school, decrease the dropout rate, and provide opportunities for students to graduate from high school. Prior literature pertaining to improving student retention provided the conceptual framework for the study. The overall design of the study was a case study in which data were collected through interviews from 15 teachers who taught in the ninth grade academy and minutes from team meetings. Data were analyzed through coding to determine emergent themes. The key results of the study indicated that the tutoring program, adult mentor program, and credit recovery program did have an impact on keeping students in school but were not significant enough to have improvement in reducing the dropout rate. Based on the findings, a project was developed that would train teachers on how to incorporate teaching strategies in the curriculum that would engage students in learning. Recommendations include additional staff development on how to engage students in the classroom. The potential for positive social change includes teachers having multiple strategies on hand for improving student engagement in the classroom, thus producing better retention and graduation rates for students.