Re-Engage Dubuque


Re-Engage Dubuque constitutes one of a growing number of examples of citywide initiatives to bring dropouts back to school and see them through to credential completion. In a school district with a 91% overall graduation rate, the City and other partners determined to set an "all students complete" goal, and thus to provide services for the city's estimated 300-500 out of school youth ages 16-21.

Re-Engage Dubuque succeeds by forming a support network for out-of-school youth. Two staff Outreach Specialists contact youth who have left school. Through dialogue and home visits, Outreach Specialists determine what resources the student needs to continue working towards a diploma or GED. When youth complete a credential and decide to pursue post-secondary options, they get assigned to a success coach to support them through community college.

The Strategy

City Role
The City of Dubuque, Iowa through Project HOPE (Helping Our People Excel), provides approximately $50,000 annually as a co-funder of Re-Engage Dubuque. Project HOPE, a city initiative, promotes collaboration among existing community resources to eliminate disparities and increase equity.

Re-Engage Dubuque partners with IowaWorks, the local branch of the state workforce development agency, to pair students with job opportunities and develop desirable workforce skills. The center also works with many social service and community-based organizations to connect youth with resources such as housing, transportation, childcare, and etc.


In the 2014-2015 academic year, its third year of operation, Re-Engage Dubuque placed 70 youth in an education program to earn a GED or diploma. To date, Re-Engage Dubuque has helped 39 returning students to earn a high school diploma and 56 to complete a high school equivalency diploma.

Contact Information

Institute for Youth, Education, and Families

Re-Engage Dubuque
700 Main St., Suite 1
Dubuque, IA 52001 
563.557.8271, ext. 104

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