National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities

The ultimate goal of the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities is to provide high quality, evidence-based technical assistance to help states build and implement sustainable programs and best practices that will yield positive results in dropout prevention, reentry, and school completion for students with disabilities. NDPC-SD has the following four interrelated goals, which captures its overarching purpose and supports the Center's mandate.


1: Increase the awareness of policymakers, administrators, and practitioners about dropout prevention, reentry, and school completion.

2: Increase the number of states that set and meet reasonable and rigorous performance targets for State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators 1 and 2.

3: Help State Education Agencies (SEAs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) develop and improve data systems to track students at risk of dropping out.

4: Help SEAs and LEAs implement and evaluate effective, comprehensive school-completion models, practices, and systems for students with disabilities.


Decreasing Dropout Rates for Minority Male Youth with Disabilities from Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Backgrounds

In a time when graduation rates are showing notable improvement among students of color and students with disabilities, there are still great challenges that remain. The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities has published a monograph that explores the problem of high school dropout rates among American Indian, African American, and Latino males with disabilities and provide an in-depth look into the specific obstacles that impede this young population from graduating, while offering direction and articulating crucial changes that must be made to better serve these students.

April 2014 - New Research Synthesis - A Literature Map of Dropout Prevention Interventions for Students with Disabilities (Wilkins & Huckabee, 2014)

This research synthesis represents the most up-to-date review of dropout interventions for students with disabilities. The authors conducted an extensive search of the literature to find articles that described school completion interventions that yielded positive outcomes for students with disabilities. Of 544 potential studies, 19 studies met the inclusion criteria: 3 experimental, 1 quasi-experimental, 5 qualitative, 5 mixed methods, 4 correlational, and 1 descriptive. The most commonly implemented interventions involved multiple components involving mentoring, family outreach, academic support, attendance monitoring, additional support services, and students' participation in school-related activities. Several studies also targeted students' specific disability-related needs, such as self-determination skills, social skills, and vocational skills. Overall, the interventions were aligned with recommendations made by the Institute of Education Sciences as effective interventions for general education students (Dynarski, et al., 2008).

Coming soon! 2014 Annual Capacity Building Institute

The Capacity Building Institute is co-sponsored by the IDEA Partnership at NASDSE's Community of Practice on Transition, the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, the National Post-School Outcomes Center, and the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center. The Institute will begin the evening of Tuesday, May 13th at 5:00 PM and end at 12:00 PM on Friday, May 16, 2014.

Purpose of Capacity Building Institute

Interdisciplinary state teams will engage in a continuous improvement process to gain secondary transition knowledge and skills, capacity building strategies, and participate in facilitated team planning to target improved transition services, high school completion rates, and post-school outcomes of students with disabilities.

For more information, visit the 2014 Annual Capacity Building Institute web site.

2013 Combined Secondary Transition Institute Materials Are Now Available

The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, NSTTAC, the IDEA Partnership's Community of Practice on Transition, and the National Post-School Outcomes Center hosted 350 participants from 40 states and territories for the 7th Annual Capacity Building Institute, May 6 -9, 2013. Interdisciplinary teams from the 40 states engaged in excellent content sessions (breakout sessions), informal topical discussions, networking, and facilitated team planning for 2 ½ days. Presenters included experts from state education agencies, departments of vocational rehabilitation, departments of mental health, parent centers, national organizations and technical assistance centers, university faculty and researchers, and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs. Presentation materials are located at State teams from the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands to the Virgin Islands to Maine to California developed action plans which the TA Centers will help support in the coming 12 months.


Jump Start Your State's SSIP

State Tool Kit for Examining Post School Success

The STEPSS tool, developed in collaboration with NSTTAC and NDPC-SD, facilitates the dissemination of secondary transition data from States to their local districts and encourages district use of a data based decision-making model to identify needs and help prescribe appropriate strategies and interventions. The State Department of Education can upload these Indicator data into the tool for dissemination to districts. Local educators, in partnership with other stakeholders, can then use an ongoing data based decision-making model utilizing secondary transition data related to graduation (Indicator 1), dropout (Indicator 2), transition compliance of the IEP (Indicator 13), and post-school outcomes (Indicator 14) to improve in-school transition programs for youth with disabilities.

NDPC-SD Data Tools

NDPC-SD has developed a set of Excel-based data tools to help districts and schools organize, examine, analyze, and share their data that impact graduation and dropout rates. These tools can support a school team’s work carrying out a root cause analysis of the factors that impact school completion rates. They also can inform the development and evaluation of a local intervention plan. This webinar provides a brief introduction to the tools and descriptions of their respective purposes. For additional information, please contact Matthew Klare at NDPC-SD (

Annual Performance Reports

Guidance for Writing the FFY 2012 APR

The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities (NDPC-SD) has developed guidance to aid states in preparing their Annual Performance Report for Indicators B-1 (Graduation Rate) and B-2 (Dropout Rate). Please do not hesitate to contact our staff for information about these indicators, or assistance in developing or reviewing your submission.

OSEP has released the package of support documents for the 2014 submission of the APR. The October 30 APR Memo as well as the current Part B Measurement Table and populated APR template may be downloaded here. The complete set of Part B support materials is posted on the OSEP website.

  • Part B Indicators 1 and 2 Graduation and Dropout Rates
  • 2014 Part B Apr Populated Template
  • 2014 Part B Measurement Table
  • 2014 APR Package Part B Memo

  • Annual Performance Results

    NDPC-SD is pleased to announce the release of our summaries of the FFY 2011 Annual Performance Reports for OSEP Part B Indicator 1 (Graduation) and Indicator 2 (Dropout). The Center's reports summarize the data, calculations, and improvement activities for these indicators across all States and territories, as well as the District of Columbia and Bureau of Indian Education. They were included in the compilation of Indicator summaries distributed at the 2013 OSEP Mega Conference in Washington in August of 2013.

  • Indicator 1 (Graduation)
  • Indicator 2 (Dropout)
  • Reentry

    Reentry Programs for Out-of-School Youth with Disabilities

    Due to the increased interest in recovering youth with disabilities who have dropped out of school, we have created a three part series of reports: "Reentry Programs for Out-of-School Youth with Disabilities." The information in these synthesis reports was collected from practicing administrators and teachers in reentry programs nationwide, and is designed to assist state departments of education, school districts, and community-based organizations interested in redesigning or initiating efforts to help youth with disabilities return to the education system and become successful school completers.

  • Summary
  • I. The Need for a Broad Range of Options
  • II. Strategies for Locating and Reenrolling
  • III. Characteristics of Reentry Programs
  • May 2014 Big IDEAS: Dropout Prevention Strategies Newsletter

    Mentoring is a cornerstone in student engagement and serves many beneficial functions for students, particularly for students with disabilities. This issue of Big IDEAS describes the important role mentoring plays in keeping students in school and describes two successful mentoring programs in West Virginia.

    September 2013 Big IDEAS: Dropout Prevention Strategies Newsletter

    September is Attendance Awareness Month! Nationally, the evidence is mounting that students who are chronically absent - missing 10% or more of the school year for any reason - are less likely to read well by the end of third grade and are more prone to drop out of high school.

    April 2013 Big IDEAS: Dropout Prevention Strategies Newsletter

    The newsletter focuses on reentry with tips on reengaging students, creative ways to insure successful reentry, and one state's effort to reengage youth with disabilities.

    Staying the Course

    Transcripts and materials available now.
    Sustainability of Dropout Prevention Efforts in a Large Urban School District: Teaming, Action Planning, Implementation, Evaluation, and Celebration! This webinar discusses the training and technical assistance provided to schools utilizing the NDPC-SD's Dropout Prevention Intervention Framework.

    RC SPA Priority Team’s Spotlight Briefs

    The Regional Resource Center Program’s (RRCP) Student Performance and Achievement (SPA) and Systems and Improvement Planning Priority (SIPP) Teams developed two Spotlight Briefs related to school completion. The first Spotlight Brief was focused on Georgia’s statewide school completion initiative, GraduateFirst. The second Spotlight Brief addressed Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSi), a statewide program that integrates reading interventions and PBIS to support school wide improvement in academic achievement and behavior.

    Teleseminar on Georgia's GraduateFirst Program

    Laura C. Brown, Ph.D.,Coordinator of Georgia's GraduateFIRST dicusses how schools have redesigned programs, adopted new practices, and implemented research-based strategies to become highly successful in preventing students with disabilities from dropping out. Additional information relating to Georgia’s school completion work is available at

    Subscribe to Big IDEAS

    Join our Big IDEAs: Dropout Prevention Strategies eNewsletter mailing list

    IDEAs that Work - U.S. Office of Special Education Program

    National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs Cooperative Agreement No. H326W080003.