Sycamore Educators Day to address dropout prevention

October 20 2008

TERRE HAUTE -- Dropout prevention is the focus of Indiana State University's 12th annual Sycamore Educators Day on Nov. 1.

"Indiana's high school graduation rate is not as high as we would like it to be," said Rebecca Libler, associate dean of the College of Education. "We know it benefits the economy and reduces the crime rate if we keep kids in school. We want them to finish high school and go on to college."

Seventy-six percent of Indiana students earned a high school diploma within four years, according to information released by the Indiana Department of Education in early 2008. Although half of the high schools in Indiana graduated more than 80 percent of their senior classes, five percent of Indiana schools graduated less than half of their students within four years.

"If you're only graduating about 75 percent of students, then there's a need for dropout prevention," Libler said.

Steven Edwards, a board member of the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University, is the keynote speaker of the event and will talk about strategies for educators from preschool to high school to use to improve attendance and decrease school dropouts. He will also lead a breakout session on seven key principles of a principal's role in dropout prevention.

Following the keynote address will be breakout sessions for the remainder of the day. Sessions include topics on differentiated instruction to help teachers with students of varied learning levels in the classroom; strategies getting parents involved; conflict resolution; and cutting edge technology.

"The breakout sessions are about how to make school an engaging place to be," Libler said. "That is part of dropout prevention."

The day begins with a breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by the keynote address at 9 a.m. Breakout sessions begin at 10 a.m. and lunch at noon. All sessions will be held in the Hulman Memorial Student Union.

Sycamore Educators Day began as a way to invite former ISU students back to campus to reconnect with faculty members and to see changes at the school. While ISU students and graduates may attend the day at no charge, there is a $10 fee for those who did not graduate from ISU.

During the day there will be a drawing for two $1,000 scholarships. The teachers or school administrators who win the scholarships can take them back to their home schools and award them to students of their choice who plan to attend ISU and enter the teacher education program.

Registration is available online at http://www1.indstate.edu/coe/sed/. The registration deadline is Oct. 24.

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Contact: Rebecca Libler, associate dean for educational research and outreach programs, at (812) 237-2862 or at rlibler@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, assistant director of media relations, Indiana State University, (812) 237-7972 or jsicking@isugw.indstate.edu

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Dropout prevention is the focus of Indiana State University's 12th annual Sycamore Educators Day on Nov. 1.

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