A longitudinal study of Project Trio: A dropout prevention program in a large urban environment

Franklin Perry Seeley, Florida International University


The subject of dropout prevention/reduction is deservedly receiving attention as a problem that, if not resolved, could threaten our national future. This study investigates a small segment of the overall dropout problem, which has apparently unique features of program design and population selection. The evidence presented here should add to the knowledge bank of this complicated problem. Project Trio was one of a number of dropout prevention programs and activities which were conducted in Dade County school years 1984-85 and 1985-86, and it is here investigated longitudinally through the end of the 1987-88 school year. It involved 17 junior and senior high schools, and 27 programs, 10 the first year and 17 the second, with over 1,000 total students, who had been selected by the schools from a list of the "at risk" students provided by the district, and were divided approximately evenly into the classical research design of an experimental group and the control group, which following standard procedure was to take the regular school curriculum. No school had more than 25 students in either group. Each school modified the basic design of the project to accommodate the individual school characteristics and the perceived needs of their students; however all schools projects were to include some form of academic enhancement, counseling and career awareness study. The conclusion of this study was that the control group had a significantly lower dropout rate than the experimental group. Though impossible to make a certain determination of the reasons for this unexpected result, it appears from evidence presented that one cause may have been inadequate administration at the local level. This study was also a longitudinal investigation of the "at risk" population as a whole for the three and four year period, to determine if academic factors were present in records may be used to identify dropout proneness. A significant correlation was found between dropping out and various measures including scores on the Quality of School Life Instrument, attendance, grade point averages, mathematics grades, and overage in grade, important identifiers in selection for dropout prevention programs.

Subject Area

Secondary education|Educational evaluation|Academic guidance counseling

Recommended Citation

Seeley, Franklin Perry, "A longitudinal study of Project Trio: A dropout prevention program in a large urban environment" (1990). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9022632.