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Vogel, Linda R.

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While research exists that examines the underlying factors related to Latino underachievement, the research on reengaging Latino students who previously dropped out is lacking. This qualitative phenomenological study examined the phenomenon of dropout and reentry of Latino students. It also highlighted underlying factors that affected their achievement. The overarching research question was, “According to participants, what factors contribute to Latino student reentry in school after dropping out?” This study was conducted in a rural resort Rocky Mountain region. Nine participants were from alternative high schools and one from a traditional school. To meet the selection criteria, participants had to have previously dropped out and then reentered school. The theoretical framework of this dissertation was that of critical research theory. Data were collected through individual interviews and then analyzed through an inductive and comparative analysis strategy. The goals were to understand the factors that contributed to dropout and reentry for the participants, while uncovering strategies for dropout prevention and increased achievement. Additional goals were to provide voice to an underserved population and advise school reform efforts. This study addressed a gap in the literature between researchers’ recommendations based on the process of dropping out and what proved to be effective in the cases of these Latino participants who reentered. The findings reinforced the potential of the following in decreasing Latino dropout rates: individual support/monitoring, engaging and relevant instruction, and a trusting relationship with an adult advocate at school. The participants also recommended a motivational component intended to educate students on the value of educational attainment to one’s financial future.


achievement gap, critical pedagogy, disengagement, dropout, dropout prevention, engagement, reengagement, Hispanic, Latino, pushout, reentry, dropout recovery, student engagement, student disengagement, student reengagement


178 pages

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