Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Educational Leadership (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Catherine Meyer-Looze

Academic Year



The goal of this project is to target behaviorally at-risk students with evidence-based intervention systems and with opportunities to develop leadership skills, such as mentoring, in order to decrease the frequency of behavioral related incidents as well as associated health-related behaviors. The research in this project highlights how students who are disconnected from their school community and peers, often end up exhibiting negative or adverse behaviors more frequently than their more connected peers and are at a greater risk of engaging in health-risk behaviors. This cycle of disconnect and negative behavior can follow a student through their school years unless proactive, intentional supports are put into place for these students. According to Bradshaw et al. (2009), “Whole-school programs are attractive to local schools because they are believed to foster an optimal learning environment for all students and encourage the use of additional supports for children with greater social-emotional and behavioral needs” (pp. 133). In this project, it is suggested that at-risk students may be able to curb adverse behaviors if they are: one, active participants in a schoolwide intervention program and two, are placed in leadership roles and allowed to develop their leadership skills as a peer-mentor and as a classroom leader.