Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Adult, Career and Higher Education

Major Professor

Judith A. Ponticell, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

John Mann, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.


health and student learning, high poverty schools, School-based health centers


This capstone project was part of a team project completed by two school principals in Hillsborough County, Florida. The project began because of our passion for meeting the needs of our students in urban high poverty schools being supported by varying district turnaround initiatives. We looked at our district’s previous and current attempts to increase student success in high poverty schools. We questioned the ways in which supports and resources were provided, and we explored ways through which success in high poverty schools might be increased by redefining the supports and resources provided. Our appreciative exploration of the topic was guided by the question, what successful examples of services and supports have contributed to an increase in success for students in high poverty schools? More specifically, I was interested in school-based health centers (SBHC), their benefits, and their impact on student academic outcomes. I looked for literature using the following keywords: wrap around services, school based health centers, health and student achievement.

School-Based Health Centers improve access to healthcare, which can help to identify and address health risk behaviors and contribute to more stable attendance at school. More instructional seat time can contribute to improved academic outcomes. The preventative role played by SBHCs can reduce barriers to learning, such as treating undiagnosed mental and physical illnesses. School-Based Health Centers provide wraparound services so that issues impacting students such as obesity or asthma can be addressed on a school’s campus where key mental health, medical and school professionals can collaborate to meet the needs of students.