Susan Rotermund of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School has been awarded a $20,000 dissertation grant from the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Rotermund’s dissertation is entitled “Can Schools Reduce Dropout Rates by Improving Student Engagement?: Using Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling To Explore How Schools Affect Students’ Dropout Decisions.” This study draws on data from the national Education Longitudinal Study, 2002 (ELS: 2002) and Mplus Software to construct a conceptual and statistical structural model of how schools encourage or discourage student engagement and thereby influence students’ decisions to drop out.
Rotermund is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Education’s Educational Leadership and Organizations emphasis. She earned her teaching credential at Antioch University, Santa Barbara, and taught fifth grade for four years in the Oxnard School District. Susan left teaching in 2001 to pursue a Ph.D. in education at UCSB. During her time at the Gevirtz School, Susan has worked as a graduate student researcher for the Center for Educational Leadership and Effective Schools (CELES) and for the California Dropout Research Project (CDRP). Currently, Susan continues her work at CDRP analyzing large-scale datasets at the state and national level to understand the nature of the dropout crisis in California schools. She has authored several statistical briefs about dropouts based on her data analysis funded and published by CDRP.
The AERA Dissertation Grants Program is also supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the Institute of Education Sciences. The program’s goals are: (1) to stimulate research on U.S. education policy-related issues using data from NCES, NSF, and other federal agencies; (2) to improve the education research community’s firsthand knowledge of the range of data available at federal agencies and how to use the data; and (3) to increase the number of education researchers using the data sets. The program supports research projects that are quantitative in nature, include the analysis of existing data from NCES, NSF or other federal agencies, and have U.S. education policy relevance.
[Susan Rotermund is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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