Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services


Counselor Education and Supervision

Committee Director

Danica G. Hays

Committee Member

Chris T. Wood

Committee Member

Joseph M. Williams


This study focused on understanding the perceived process of change, outcomes and influencing factors experienced by high school graduates of Urban Corps of San Diego County (UCO) from a bioecological theory of human development standpoint. UCO is a second chance high school diploma-job training program that offers students free mental health counseling and employment assistance. Limited research charted former high school dropouts' process of re-engagement with school and experiences after graduation. Using Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) and Critical Theory, a research team identified nine categories and 33 subcategories based on 15 semi-structured interviews with a homogenous sample of UCO alumni. The findings informed a tentative model of relationships between the perceived process of change, outcomes, and influencing factors that describe UCO alumni's development over time. Theoretical implications supported the utility of the bioecological theory of human development in understanding UCO alumni development-in-context. Findings may be applied in social justice counseling, advocacy, research, and program evaluation.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).