New Program Aims to Cut Troy City Schools' Dropout Rate


By Brittany Bivins

In 2012, Alabama's graduation rate was 75 percent, according to an Alabama Department of Education report released this summer.

The Troy City School system had a 58 percent graduation rate, making it tied for the third lowest graduation rate in the state. Now district officials hope a new tutoring program could make a difference.

It's part of a partnership between Charles Henderson High School and Troy University.

"Anything will help at this juncture. We just have to stay focused on what that goal is which is ultimately to have all of our students graduate from Troy City Schools," said Superintendent Lee Hicks.

Troy University students like Nick Shannon will tutor CHHS students several times a week. Shannon says he's seen firsthand the risk factors that make some high school students drop out.

"Influences like friends who have dropped out, family members who may have never finished high school or just depending on the region they're in or their family background," he said.

Shannon says a similar program helped keep him on track in high school, and he wants to make a difference now in the lives of others.

"We have to prevent a student from falling behind, because a lot of times when students fall behinds, you know, the motivational level drops, frustration begins, and then they feel it's too far gone, and that's when they feel they'll look at a different option, perhaps just going to work," he said.

Educators at Troy University say they hope the new program encourages students to choose the classroom instead.

"We're hoping to grow that relationship in the future, as always, and you're right, it is name recognition for Troy University," said Jason Wingate, Program Director.

The program will kick off this school year.

The program is being paid for, in part, with a $20,000 donation from AT&T.


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