Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Rigaud, Joseph


The California State University (CSU) Project Rebound is a reentry program that provides educational, social, financial, and case management to formerly incarcerated college students (FICS) with the goal of helping them become successful post-incarceration and post-graduation. However, there is a penury of research on how Project Rebound actually helped FICS create pro-social bonds and develop career preparation competencies. This exploratory study is an attempt to fill this gap in the literature by looking at the outcomes of formerly incarcerated college graduates who participated in a CSU-sponsored reentry program. In this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 alumni of a specific Project Rebound program (N = 13). Results from thematic analysis revealed five major themes. First, there is a broad range of support that constitutes the career-building network of formerly incarcerated college students. Second, respondents report a ‘mixed bag’ in terms of career seeking experiences post-graduation. Third, despite progress, a lot remains to be seen in terms of reintegrating formerly incarcerated college graduates into the workplace. Fourth, deficiencies exist within the broad range of support necessary for increased career outcomes. Fifth, graduates who were proactive in regard to career building strategies reported more positive career seeking experiences and increased job satisfaction. Implications of the findings for theory, research, social work practice, and policy are discussed.

Keywords: FICGs, reentry programs, Project Rebound, employment, qualitative data,

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Social Work Commons