All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Loucrecia Collins

Advisory Committee Members

Evelyn Nettles

Lee Meadows

Gary Peters

Tonya Perry

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Education (EdD) School of Education


The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of urban students in Central Alabama with high self-efficacy who have dropped out of school to pursue a GED. This study: (a) provided a platform that gave voice to students to share their lived experience as they made the decision to drop out of high school, (b) identified the character traits of students with high self-efficacy, and (c) revealed the essence of what motivated students to move to resilience after appearing to give up. A qualitative research design was used. The phenomenological approach provided the opportunity for participants to express what they experienced during the process of dropping out of school. Students attending a GED class were chosen using purposeful sampling. Students were given a questionnaire to determine efficacy.Participants ages ranged from 17- 19. This age was selected for the purpose of utilizing students who had not been far removed from the high school experience. Students were interviewed for 45 minutes using semi-structured questions. The four themes that emerged from the study included: parental involvement, absenteeism, teacher influence, and early challenges.The research revealed the impact early challenges had on students' perceptions of their ability to negotiate school.

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