Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Curriculum

First Reader/Committee Chair

Donna Schnorr


This study sought to examine how schools influenced and promoted student resilience through the lens of persistence, leading to high school completion. The focus of this study was significant because there are few studies that focus on student resiliency as it relates to high school completion through the lens of persistence. Previous studies have generally identified at-risk factors for non-high school completion and either qualify or quantify the results. They have not taken into account the social and economic contexts of school and the communities and their influence on student resiliency. This study utilized a phenomenological methodology that identified the lived experiences of twenty-six 11th - grade students of color at an urban high school in Southern California that manifested resilience and persistence. Semi-structured interviews of participants drawn from a stratified variation sampling were utilized. A CRT framework was applied to examine the role of high school as a protective factor, the interactions of faculty and staff, and the perceptions of participants as it relates to school culture and climate. External factors such as supportive relationships in the familial and community context were also examined and discussed.

The results of this study highlighted school climate that promotes belonging along with a collective focus on the study of student success, the role of teacher-student and counselor relationships as being pivotal to the development of resilience in students of color. The findings from this study provide examples for schools to develop supportive climates that focus on promoting and developing academic, social, and emotional resiliency in students of color with specific next step recommendations.