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Increasing Rates of School Completion

Moving From Policy and Research to Practice

A Manual for Policymakers, Administrators, and Educators

Prepared by:

Camilla A. Lehr
David R. Johnson
Christine D. Bremer
Anna Cosio
Megan Thompson

May 2004

Permission is granted to duplicate this publication in its entirety or portions thereof. This publication is not availabe in print. Upon request, this publication will be made available in alternate formats. To request an alternate format, please contact:

Institute on Community Integration Publications Office
109 Pattee Hall, 150 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-4512

This document was published May 2004 by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET). NCSET is supported through a cooperative agreement #H326J000005 with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U.S. Department of Education Programs, and no official endorsement should be inferred. The University of Minnesota, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition are equal opportunity employers and educators.


We would like to express our deep appreciation to the organizations and individuals who have contributed to and reviewed this tool. We are grateful to:

  • Morgen Alwell, Ph.D.
    What Works Transition Research Synthesis Project, Colorado State University
  • Sandy Christenson, Ph.D.
    School Psychology Program, Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota
  • Ann Clapper, Ed.D.
    National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota
  • Brian Cobb, Ph.D.
    School of Occupational and Education Studies, Colorado State University
  • Bonnie Jones, Ph.D.
    Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education
  • Martha Thurlow, Ph.D.
    National Center on Educational Outcomes, University of Minnesota

We are also grateful to the individuals associated with each of the sample interventions who reviewed the information included in the summary chart and abstracts.

Table of Contents

Introduction & Getting Started

Part I: What Do We Know About Dropout Prevention?

Part II: How Were Sample Intervention Programs Selected?

  • The Need for Examples of Effective Interventions
  • Search Process & Initial Criteria
  • Raising the Bar
  • Final Parameters for Selection
  • Abstracts: Coding & Definitions

Part III: What Works in Dropout Prevention?

Part IV: Where Else Can I Go for More Information?

  • Related Resources & Organizations
  • Journal Articles & Related Publications
  • Web Sites Providing Data on Dropout Rates

Appendix: Reproducible Handouts on Dropout Prevention


E-mail this page
Download PDF
1.19MB, 84 pages
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Lehr, C. A., Johnson, D. R., Bremer, C. D., Cosio, A., & Thompson, M. (2004). Essential tools: Increasing rates of school completion: Moving from policy and research to practice. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition.

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(include your phone number and the city and state where you live)

National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Institute on Community Integration
University of Minnesota
6 Pattee Hall
150 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis MN 55455
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612-624-9344 (fax)

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This page was last updated on December 13, 2007.