Thesis Title

Fostering Resilience in At-Risk High School Students

Graduation Date

Spring 2012

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD


There is a large volume of literature that discusses the at-risk high school student. This literature tends to focus on the factors that create the at-risk student whether those are environmental factors or perhaps the failure of schools in general that create the at-risk problem in the United States. Although the causes are important to understand, they are obvious. What is missing in the literature is what can be done in a classroom to support change for the at-risk student. A constant issue with many of these at-risk students is their lack of persistence and resilience in an academic setting. There are many theories as to why these students lack the necessary skills of resilience and although that is important contextually. It does not help the high school teacher when given the task to help improve the success rates of these students. High school teachers struggle daily with how to reach their at-risk students and need practical approaches to help them support these students by fostering their resiliency. These practices can help the teacher of a class that is a self-contained academic support classroom or a teacher who is teaching in a differentiated English or social studies classroom. If the lack of educational resilience is one of the major contributors to why these students struggle in high school then useful, strategies to build resilience are necessary tools for the high school teacher.

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