Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Barabra Hill, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Trevor Turner, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Sheila Gregory, Ph.D.


Although graduation rates are increasing in Georgia and in the United States, high school dropouts remain an issue of significant concern. Much of the focus of research in this area has been on describing the characteristics of dropouts rather than on developing effective interventions. Moreover, emerging research shows that potential dropouts can be identified with confidence as early as the sixth grade. High school is the time in which dropouts are typically identified and interventions begun, but the seeds of dropping out are often planted well before ninth grade.

This study is about school administrators’ perceptions of drop-out factors in three urban high schools. The research design lies within the qualitative spectrum. Data were gathered from semi-structured, open-ended interviews conducted with selected participants. Results showed there were no significant differences in the perception of high school principals as to the importance of specific intervention factors affecting student dropout rates. The participants agreed that instructional coaches, after-school and Saturday school programs and the use of data to target content needs of specific students were the common themes of support to students at-risk of not completing high school requirements.