Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Educational Administration


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Kirby, Peggy

Second Advisor

Riedlinger, Brian

Third Advisor

Riedlinger, Carmen

Fourth Advisor

Haydel, Juanita


The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that influenced students of one suburban Louisiana school district to leave school prior to obtaining a diploma. Qualitative methods were used to investigate the reasons that students gave for what influenced them in making their decision to leave school. Additionally, it was the intent of the study to determine if the Louisiana school accountability program had any influence on the students' decisions. Interviews were conducted with 11 students who dropped out of school in the 2003-2004 school year. With-in case and cross-case analyses were performed and themes were developed to illustrate the responses given by the participants during their interview. The data suggest students leave school because they face personal obstacles that they cannot overcome. Additionally, participants of this study cited a lack of alternative schooling and disappointment with the systems as other factors that influenced their decision to drop out of school. Furthermore, participants did not feel that school accountability had an influence on their decision to leave school.


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