Facilitating Student-Led Research and Activism Towards Higher Graduation Rates

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 2,8
  • Skill Level: Introduction

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. gain an overview of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) theory and practice.
  2. learn about implementing YPAR in a continuation high school with students who have been identified as “high-risk” for not graduating and in a remote telehealth setting.
  3. understand continuation student perspectives on what contributes to low graduation rates.
  4. learn how YPAR can be leveraged at the local school district level to facilitate student-led constructive educational improvement.


We present a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project initiated to explore the underlying mechanisms of state-identified low continuation high school graduation rates. Participants will learn about YPAR as a method for engaging students in data-based changes in their schools. The process challenges a deficit discourse of youth who attend credit-recovery programs. Results provide novel insights for school psychologists regarding what factors prevent students from attending continuation high schools despite a strong desire to graduate.



Natalie A. Larez, University of California, Santa Barbara
Jill D. Sharkey, University of California, Santa Barbara


Luke Janes, Tamela N. Harris

Letter to Supervisor

Looking for a concise way to pitch the convention to your employer? This letter and the corresponding talking points are here to help!

Preliminary Brochure

Share our NASP 2022 preliminary brochure with your supervisor along with the above letter.