Graduate Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project Report

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Supervisory Committee Chair

Douglas Hale, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Spencer K. Thompson, Ph.D.


The literature revealed many influential factors associated with the decision to drop out of high school, but most information is descriptive in nature. Few research attempts have been made at gathering the dropouts' own perspectives of their situation. In this case study, twenty dropouts were interviewed about their reasons for leaving school. There were several reasons given by these students for leaving school. Among these reasons are that they lacked interest, teachers showed no interest, they were pregnant, married or on drugs. These results support earlier findings that a combination of personal, educational, and familial factors affect students' decisions to leave school. This study also demonstrated that individual students make personal decisions about schooling, and that interventions must be made with the individual. It is suggested that identification of potential dropouts in the elementary schools, smaller classes, and specially trained teachers or other school personnel are necessary in preventive programs.



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