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Author Howerton, Vanessa R
Title An investigation of dropout dynamics of African American females: Uncovering and understanding the driving forces behind the dropout decision
book jacket
Descript 170 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-03, Section: A, page: 0796
Adviser: Mary Jean Ronan Herzog
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Western Carolina University, 2006
Each year thousands of students in the United States make the decision to discontinue school. This study examines the dropout decision through the eyes of African American females who have dropped out of school. The geographic area of the study participants is western North Carolina, an area in North Carolina in which the African American population is smaller than other regions of the state. However, one in every five people in North Carolina is African American. The impact of the female on the family structure and success of children has been recorded in numerous studies. Over a period of four school years, 37 African American female students dropped out of school in one western North Carolina school district. The average number of African American females enrolled per year in this school district during the four year period was 642. This study focuses on the stories of some of these students. School experiences, reasons for the dropout decision, and student-made suggestions for schools in general are key topics covered in recorded interviews with 11 African American female students who dropped out of school between the school years 2000-01 and 2003-04. Semi-structured interviews are the main sources of data collection and Student Information Management Systems (SIMS) documents are used for supplementary information. The overall purpose of each interview is to determine reasons students decide to discontinue school. Interview questions target participants' perceptions of in-school and out-of-school expectations of teachers, peers, parents, and administrators. Analysis of recorded data from this study points to the impact of (1) student - educator relationships, (2) perceived family responsibilities on the dropout decision, and (3) student made connections between familiar (family) and less familiar (school) cultures. In addition, information gathered from this study may be useful as researchers further compare student perspectives as related to individual school settings. How do African American females view their educational experience when the actual school environment or school community is different from those in this study? Will the responses to interview questions differ when the same questions are asked of students who are from schools and communities with different ethnic makeups and different school sizes?
School code: 1373
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 67-03A
Subject Black Studies
Education, Administration
Education, Secondary
Alt Author Western Carolina University
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