Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Antonio Serna

First Committee Member

Elizabeth Keithcart

Second Committee Member

Dante Alvarez


This phenomenological study explored the reasons and attitudes of people who dropped out of high school and then later returned to complete their high school educations. In order to gather data for this study, interviews were conducted with eleven students who returned to complete their high school education after having earlier dropped out. An analysis was completed regarding the reasons that led those high school students to drop out of high school, and of the motivations and struggles that led them back to school.

Individuals who return to high school and earn a high school credential avail themselves of additional opportunities, such as college or vocational training. It is undeniable that increasing the high school graduation rate in the United States would be beneficial to the country. Not only would an increase in the graduation rate be good for society in general, but graduation would also benefit each graduate on a personal level, even if he or she graduated a year or more after their initial cohort. Consequently, given the national dropout problem, the purpose of this study was to describe the experiences, motivations, and struggles of individuals who dropped out of high school and then returned to complete their high school education. Hopefully, this study will result in a better understanding of their paths and ultimately reduce high school dropout rates.





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