Term of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Devon Jensen

Committee Member 1

Mohomodou Boncana

Committee Member 2

Dan Calhoun


The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a dropout prevention intervention on attitudes toward education among African American males in a rural alternative school in southeast Georgia as a means of understanding retention pathways for this population of students. The researcher approach to retention personified the slogan “Think Globally, Act Locally” by examining the nationwide dropout rate in the United States and implementing a dropout prevention program in a rural Georgia county. African American males have an alarmingly high attrition rate at the middle school, high school, and college levels and so research on how to retain these students is needed. Using a sample of 16 African American males enrolled in an alternative middle school, the study investigated the influence of the “Go to High School, Go to College” dropout prevention curriculum intervention on students’ attendance, behavior, and academic performance. This quasi-experimental study used a pre-test and post-test design, with subjects serving as their own control. Dependent variables included attendance, behavior, and academic performance. The descriptive statistics were compared for each tool to determine changes in scoring before and after the intervention. The findings of this study affirm that early prevention measures are essential to changing an adolescent’s perception of the importance of persisting beyond high school graduation to the university/college level. Students who learn to prioritize their academic pursuits in middle school are more prepared to overcome the academic and non-academic factor that led to attrition and to continue their education after high school graduation