Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Barragán, Armando


This study evaluated the effectiveness of school-based mental health (SBMH) services from a mental and behavioral health program at a School District in Southern California, specifically counseling services, on academic performance and attendance for K-12 students. This study targets students from minority groups and low-income families, who often face unmet mental health needs. This research fills a gap in the literature regarding the effectiveness of SBMH counseling services on academic success by analyzing data from 151 participants (N = 151) collected via the school district’s electronic systems, focusing on program enrollment during the 2022-2023 academic year. Utilizing the pretest-posttest design, this evaluation assessed students’ academic progress and attendance before and after they received mental health counseling services. The findings indicated a significant improvement in attendance, with absences decreasing post-enrollment in the program (p < .0001). However, GPA scores post-enrollment did not show a statistically significant increase (p = .303), suggesting the program’s limited effect on academic performance. Despite having a minimal impact on GPA, the notable improvement in attendance emphasizes the value of integrating mental health services into school-based settings. These findings hold implications for stakeholders in other school districts, addressing the potential for SBMH services to enhance student well-being, leading to improved long-term academic outcomes. However, further research is required to fully understand the effects on academic performance.