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School Dropout: Synthesis of Research with Employment/Training Implications



Because this literature review is oriented toward providing informa­tion upon which to base project planning and development, we sought to answer the following questions: 1. What are the special problems of school dropouts that differ­entiate them from their contemporaries? We are especially interested in the consequences of dropping out for the adolescent in such areas as: (a) short- and longer-term economic status (e.g. , labor force participation, unemployment, poverty, upward mobility, etc.); (b) access to educational and/ or job training opportunities (probability of ultimately completing high school and going on for more advanced education, enrollment in vocational training programs, etc.); (c) delinquent behavior; and (d) responsibility for dependents resulting from pregnancy or paternity. In looking at data bear­ing on these sorts of issues, we are particularly interested in identifying special, cumulative deficits that may be attributable to dropping out. 2. What are some appropriate conceptual frameworks, both for under­standing the dropout phenomenon and for planning programs aimed at coping with the special problems of dropouts? Because we are not orienting our efforts toward dropout prevention, but rather toward remediation of the special problems dropouts present, we are interested in examining the causes of dropout only insofar as they are relevant for program planning. 3. What are some of the other programs serving dropouts, and how successful have they been? We are interested in assessing both the results of other programs and the applicability for our own program development of features that have been proven effective. We are also interested in examining the extent to which other programs take into account current conceptualizations of the dropout phenomenon, particularly those frameworks explicitly utilizing notions concerning the mobilization of community resources in a systematic, integrated fashion.
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