Much has been written about how to prevent students from leaving high school before graduating, and which life experiences or risk factors may lead a young person to drop out. Less is known, however, about what promotes the attainment of a high school diploma.
In order to help all young people stay on the path to graduation, it is important to consider the influences in their lives that lead to on-time graduation.
The Center for Promise research team reviewed the last 25 years of empirical studies on high school graduation (182 articles in total). Using Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological framework as a guide, we looked at five categories, or what Bronfenbrenner refers to as “ecological levels,” that impact a young person’s development – individual (attitudes and beliefs), family, peers, school and community. Within those levels, we identified specific assets which may positively impact a young person’s decision to stay in and graduate from high school.