Chris Unger


Sara Ewell, Joan Struzziero

Date of Award


Date Accepted


Degree Grantor

Northeastern University

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department or Academic Unit

College of Professional Studies, School of Education


education, dropout prevention, self-efficacy, situated learning, student perceptions


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education


The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate to what extent student perceptions impact a student's decision to exit the school environment. Situated Learning and Self-Efficacy Theory informs the theoretical framework for the literature review and helps to further evaluate the following research questions: (1) What conditions or circumstances, as perceived by students, have contributed to their staying in or dropping out of school? (2) As can be assessed through student focus groups, how might students' stated degree of self-efficacy and resiliency contribute to their staying in or dropping out of school? A case study approach was used to learn about various students' stated feeling of connectedness to the community and activity of school as well as their perceived self-efficacy and resiliency. These elements and the degree to which they contribute to students' persistence in school was the subject of this investigation. The analysis of these themes along with students' stories was documented and presented to inform educators' ability to identify potential high school dropouts and understand better why it is that they exit the school environment.

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Rights Information

copyright 2012

Rights Holder

Kristin L. Hardy-Fortin

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