Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Alberto Gonzales


Educational leaders have implemented a number of programs and practices to reduce the number of students who drop out of U.S. high schools, yet little is known in the research literature and at the practice level about how administrators perceive these interventions. The problem that this study addressed was a lack of knowledge about which implemented school practices and intervention programs are effective for reducing dropout rates from the perspectives of administrators in a Mid-Atlantic state. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore administrators’ perceptions concerning implemented school practices and intervention programs intended to reduce dropout rates. The research questions addressed asked about the programs of intervention and school practices administrators had implemented in their attempt to decrease the dropout rates in their high school. The next research question inquired about the various aspects of interventions and practices administrators believed did or did not assist with decreasing their school’s dropout rates? A total of eight administrators were chosen through purposeful sampling and were then individually interviewed to extrapolate the study’s data. Data were analyzed using NVivo’s software to identify themes. The four themes revealed were that alternative schools, various classroom techniques, principal- staff relationship, and teachers that work to build relationships with students can affect and reduce school dropout rates. The study findings may assist educational leaders in identifying and addressing potential issues with programs and practices designed to promote student retention, which may lead to a decrease in the dropout rate. The implications of reducing the dropout rate include providing graduates with the skills necessary to participate in local job markets and communities with sources of revenue.