National Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification Program

The National Dropout Prevention Network (NDPN) is offering a new National Dropout Prevention Specialist (NDPS) certification program for educators and 
at-risk youth workers. The certification will verify participant knowledge and expertise in at-risk youth issues and strategies for raising graduation rates. The NDPS certification program is founded on NDPC/N’s research-based effective strategies, known youth risk factors, professional learning participation, and field implementation of acquired knowledge.

Begin Application


NDPS participants must either:

  • Be employed or actively engaged in the field of education and/or
  • Work in the area of at-risk youth services or in a similar setting

Program Requirements

NDPS participants must:

  • Complete and submit the NDPS application electronically or in hard copy
  • Pay an application and processing fee of $350 that is refundable in the event of non-acceptance and that includes a one-year NDPN individual membership and access to all Network resources
  • Maintain Network membership until certification requirements are completed
  • Participate in NDPC/N professional learning events addressing 12 or more effective strategies
  • Submit and share a field project

Certification Benefits

NDPS certificate holders will:

  • Receive documentation of current and research-based expertise in multiple areas of dropout prevention and at-risk youth services from NDPC/N, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization
  • Be recognized as Certified National Dropout Prevention Specialists on the NDPC/N Web site,, the nation’s leading resource for dropout prevention information
  • Share dropout prevention expertise and achievements through NDPC/N posting of field project reports
  • Receive discounted registration fees at all NDPC/N conferences and events

Application and Program Requirements

The NDPS professional learning requirement will be met by attending NDPC/N conference event sessions sufficient to address 12 or more different research-based effective strategies. Participants may self-select from identified event sessions offered at any NDPC/N training event such as the annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference, the annual At-Risk Youth National FORUM, or the annual National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities. Beginning January 1, 2015, all NDPC/N event sessions will be coded to various effective strategies to facilitate easy selection by NDPS participants. Professional learning costs such as event registration, travel, etc. are the responsibility of the participant. All NDPS participants will be offered discounted event registration fees beginning January 1, 2015.

The NDPS field project requirement may be met by either a program submission to the NDPC/N Model Program Database or submission of a Field Project Report, both of which will be shared worldwide with other practitioners via the NDPC/N Web site.

Upon program admission, participants will receive detailed instructions for professional learning participation, field project completion, and program completion.

NDPS certification is issued by the National Dropout Prevention Network for a three-year validity period and is renewable by participation in four or more professional learning sessions and maintenance of NDPN membership during the certification period.

Begin Application