Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Dr. Cory Dennis


There has been much research conducted regarding high school dropout prevention and identifying risk factors that influence those who choose to leave school early. Although research shows that life can become very difficult economically and socially for high school dropouts, some adults decide to return to further their education after many years away from a school setting. The following study was conducted in order to answer the following question: How do former high school dropouts view the reasons they dropped out and the reasons they returned?

The purpose of this qualitative research study was to gain an understanding of the motivations of those adults who have dropped out of high school and have decided to return to further their education in an adult school setting.

The method of conducting this study from a qualitative angle was interviewing individuals who are currently enrolled in an adult education program. Although not conclusive, personal experience is important to gaining an understanding of this population and their views on the reasons that led them to drop out of high school.

The results of this study correlated with existing literature that there are many factors that lead to high school dropouts. Because this was a qualitative study, the individual reasons given for dropping out of high school support the statistics and research already in existence.