Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia Foley

Committee Members

John Boyd Jr., Eric Glover, Arnold Nyarambi


The focus of this study was individual and community assets and barriers that African American students living in disadvantaged low income communities encounter in their efforts to complete high school. The research questions were focused on understanding the high school experiences of students who graduated and of students who dropped out. The study was a comparison of the data collected from interviews of former students to the 15 interventions identified as most effective by the National Dropout Prevention Network (

Findings suggested that 6 of the 15 developmental assets were effective for enabling African American students to graduate from high school. These developmental assets were school-community collaboration, mentoring, family engagement, alternative schooling, after school opportunities, and active learning. The findings of this study may improve teaching and learning in K-12 schools and communities to increase graduation rates for minority students.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.