Skip to main content

Evidence-based Practice: Intensive, individualized support for students off track on early warning indicators


Using data on on-track or early warning indicators (such as those recommended by the E-W Framework), schools can identify students who are off track for high school graduation or college readiness, and can intervene. The WWC recommends assigning these students a trained adult advocate who provides individualized support to meet their academic, social, and emotional needs. This individual can identify students’ unmet needs and either directly provide support or coordinate additional support. An advocate is a student’s “go-to person” for the resources and support needed to graduate or be ready for college. Advocates typically provide these supports for the entire time a student is enrolled in the school or, at a minimum, a full school year. They can be school staff or employed by outside organizations. Although the research reviewed is focused on dropout prevention in middle and high schools, intensive, individualized support that considers both academic and nonacademic needs may also be a promising intervention for students off track in elementary school or for college.


The framework's recommendations are based on syntheses of existing research. Please see the framework report for a list of works cited.

This website was funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.