Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Education Evaluation and Research

First Advisor

Burnis Hall


Major urban areas in the United States are populated by under-educated and under-employed young adults for adults for a variety of socioeconomic and educational reasons. Increasingly, automated technology, maturing industries, changes in consumer demand and the emergence of more dynamic world-wide competition all have worked together to produce an almost insurmountable barrier for young urban high school dropouts. No longer can a high school dropout plan on factory work leading to self sufficiency in the United States, particularly in the Detroit metropolitan area. The purpose of this study was to research and report the effects of Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching and the persistence rates of adult learners. This study used Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching educational strategies on young adults enrolled in the Youthbuild Detroit program. Youthbuild Detroit is a federally funded 12-month program that supported the use of training for the construction trades and educational preparation for the test of general education development (GED). The participants were 18 through 24 years of age high school dropouts, most of who were male and African-American. A comparison group of Detroit Public Schools adult basic education students were used in this study. The findings of the study reveal that students taught basic educational skills with Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching methodologies significantly increased their reading comprehension and the attendance rates. The major conclusion determined from this study was that adult learners will show increased achievement and reduced attrition with instructional methodologies that increase student-teacher interaction and conduct daily monitoring of student achievement.