Reasons students give for dropping out of high school: An analysis of Project Volver

Dora Alejandra De La Rosa, University of Texas at El Paso


This survey methods study analyzes the results of Project Volver II: Operation Stay-in-School, a phone-a-thon targeting 1,540 dropouts (from a 4-year time period) conducted by a large urban school district serving a predominantly Hispanic population as an outreach initiative to recover dropouts. The quantitative part of the study focused primarily on data generated by a survey conducted by Project Volver volunteers in July 2000 which documented the reasons given for leaving school by 708 dropouts and/or their family members contacted through the phone-a-thon. The qualitative portion of the study consisted of data gathered from interviews with two focus groups of students who were recovered through Project Volver, two students who graduated, and two Project Volver committee members. These data supported the quantitative findings and further provided personal student insights that illustrate the complexity of the dropout issue. Another part of the research provides information from Project Volver committee members as to the various components of the project and their perception of the project's impact. This study is an attempt to provide research on a dropout recovery initiative that may result in a better understanding of the Hispanic student population dropout problem. Of significance is the fact that this project is effective in (1) recruiting dropouts, (2) identifying the reasons students leave school, (3) providing data that educators can use in determining the programs/services needed, and (4) may be easily replicated by other school districts in search of possible solutions to the high dropout rate.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Minority & ethnic groups|Sociology

Recommended Citation

De La Rosa, Dora Alejandra, "Reasons students give for dropping out of high school: An analysis of Project Volver" (2002). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3049699.