Despite the gains, over half a million students still drop out of high school each year (U.S. Department of Education 2015).
High schools have adopted various strategies designed to keep students who are at risk of not graduating in school and on track for earning the credits required to graduate.
“At-risk” students are defined as those failing to achieve basic proficiency in key subjects or exhibiting behaviors that can lead to failure and/or dropping out of school.
Dropout prevention strategies are diverse; they vary in type of program, services offered, frequency, intensity, and duration of contact with target students.
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) sponsored the National Survey on High School Strategies Designed to Help At-Risk Students Graduate (HSS), which aimed to provide descriptive information on the prevalence and characteristics of dropout prevention strategies for at-risk students.
The survey collected data in the 2014–15 school year from a nationally representative sample of 2,142 public high schools and focused on 13 specific high school improvement strategies identified by a panel of external experts and senior Department officials.
All findings are based on self-reported data from school principals.
This brief on personalized learning plans is the eleventh in a series of briefs with key findings about these high school improvement strategies.
Definition of Personalized Learning Plans The HSS focused on high schools and defined a personalized learning plan as, a formalized process that involves high school students setting learning goals based on personal, academic and career interests with the close support of school personnel or other individuals that can include teachers, school counselors, and parents.
Personalized learning plans are developed in a way that identifies the types of skills students need to pursue their academic and career interests and the steps required to build those skills, which may be attained through traditional educational pathways or through other innovative delivery mechanisms.