Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jyothi Gupta, OTR/L, PhD, FAOTA


The ramifications of high school dropout have significant adverse effects both for individuals and society. High school graduation is the social determinant that strongly predicts long-term health and success (American Public Health Association, n.d.). Unfortunately, more than 500,000 high school students dropout each year without the skills and credentials needed to become successful, productive members of society (Communities in Schools, 2009). The dropout numbers for ethnic minorities are disproportionately high. In 2009, the proportions of 16 to 24- year-old high school dropouts were 10.7% for African Americans, 15.9% for American Indians, and 17.9% for Hispanics (Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA, 2015). Significant graduation gaps exist, particularly for the economically disadvantaged, minorities, and have limited English proficiency (Marczuk, Taff, Berg, 2014).