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Project 43 History


According to data released by Chicago Public Schools, the 2008 and 2009 Five Year Cohort Dropout Rate was 43%. This means that 4 out of every 10 students in the Chicago Public School system did not graduate from high school. Each year UNITE members from university chapters across the country come together to research, question, and analyze a different factor that influences this alarming statistic. The weekend event, Project 43, lasts 43 straight hours during which time UNITE members attend workshops, speak to community members, interview teachers and students, and ultimately spread the awareness of the high dropout rate in urban areas.


Project 43 is UNITE’s largest annual fundraiser. Each participant gathers donations from sponsors. All donations are used to further UNITE’s programming in support of our university chapters to prepare future teachers to impact urban students and empower them to overcome challenges like factors that contribute to dropping out.


While the Five Year Cohort Dropout Rate has decreased to around 40% since UNITE started Project 43 in 2010, the number of students who dropout on a daily basis in urban areas around the country is still a problem that plagues urban schools. Teachers need to not only be aware of this statistic, but be prepared with a toolkit of resources and strategies to help students who are at risk of dropping out.



Past Themes:


2010- How does the Community Influence the Dropout Rate?

2011- Spread the Word: Awareness and Recognition

2012- School Closings and the Dropout Rate

2013- How does the Teacher Dropout Rate Impact the

          Student Dropout Rate?

2014- Prajekt 43: Literacy Impact on the Dropout Rate

Dates: February 20th - 22nd

Location: Chicago, IL


This year UNITE members will look back at the past years of Project 43 progress.  Participants will analyze the variety of influences that have impacted the dropout rate changes and discuss what work is yet to be done. 


According to the mayor of Chicago and a recent study conducted by the Chicago Consortium of School Research, the current cohort dropout rate of Chicago Public Schools has decreased significantly to about 30% from the original number of 43% in 2009.  What has contributed to this significant drop in the dropout rate?  What will happen with the trend in the future?




Donate to Project 43!


Use the PayPal link below to make a donation via credit card, debit card, or your PayPal account. If you are sponsoring a specific participant, you may write their name in the “Notes” section of your donation.

Register for Project 43 2014


Are you a member of a UNITE university chapter? Register today for Project 43 and prepare yourself for a life-changing 43 hours! Check with your chapter president for more information about travel and accommodations.

The Dropout Rate Drops.

Project 43 2015