TIPSHEET: Vanderbilt expert can discuss methods for improving graduation rate

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Gov. Phil Bredesen’s new initiative to reduce the dropout rate is badly needed and well-timed, according to Vanderbilt Peabody College Professor of Special Education Carolyn Hughes.

“Gov. Bredesen has set an ambitious and important goal of raising graduation rates to 90 percent in Tennessee. As he has noted, this will take a multi-faceted solution considering the scope of the problem—some Metropolitan Nashville schools have dropout rates as high as 50 percent,” Hughes said. “Strategies that should be examined include: mentoring, service-learning opportunities, individualized instruction, collaborations with families and communities, career education and workforce readiness, and early intervention to address potential problems.”

Hughes is a member of a committee appointed by Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell to reduce the dropout rate. She leads the Peabody Mentoring Program at Vanderbilt University, which brings Vanderbilt student-mentors to help students work toward high school completion and to learn more about college life.

Media contact: Melanie Moran, (615) 322-NEWS

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