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dropout prevention

Here’s why multiple layers of support are vital for at-risk student success

  • Rob Noroian
  • April 27, 2018

Sarah was just a few months away from graduation. She was also in crisis.

She had already dropped out once before, shortly before the birth of her son. We’d gotten her reengaged, but a terrifying incident with her boyfriend had left her homeless; living in an emergency domestic abuse shelter two counties away from her hometown.

We found out when Sarah’s academic coach called her the next day, as scheduled.

“I might not be able to do my classes for a while,” she said. “I left the computer in my apartment, and I can’t go back there.”

Within hours, Sarah’s local advocate had gotten a new laptop to her, and was coordinating with the shelter to help connect her to legal and housing services. Meanwhile, her college and career transition counselor was on the phone to a university Sarah had been scheduled to visit that week for a scholarship interview, and got the school to agree to an interview over the phone instead.

Over the next few weeks, two teachers independently noticed an unusual dip in Sarah’s progress, and alerted the program principal. She encouraged Sarah to take more advantage of our 24-7 tutoring program — and Sarah did just that.

Two months later, Sarah had reached her graduation goal. Today she is a college student.

When our students are in crisis, it takes a team to help keep them on track for graduation. But even when they’re not in an acutely bad situation, like Sarah was, they’re often in need of multiple layers of support.

We believe in this network. And that’s why we’d like to share it with you. Of course, we’d love to work directly with you to get more students to graduation day, but if what we do simply helps inspire how you build your support networks, that’s great, too.

Learn more about our layers of support here.