Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Counseling


Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education

Committee Chair

Cynthia Wilson


TRiO: Upward Bound helps low-income, first-generation college-bound students by giving opportunities to increase their performance in high school and increase their chances of enrolling in post-secondary education. A common thread with students who meet the requirements for TRiO: Upward Bound is a lower self-esteem. Expressive arts therapy techniques have shown to build self-esteem in students. TRiO: Upward Bound students were invited to participate in a six-week expressive arts therapy group. The chosen participants (n=5) completed Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale before the sessions began and again at the conclusion of the sessions. Participants also kept a weekly journal written at the end of each session. The study was set up as a mixed design using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative results indicated: (1) students felt they had more to be proud of: (2) students felt they had a number of good qualities: and (3) students felt more satisfied with their selves. The qualitative findings indicated that self-esteem rose due to: (1) relating to others in the group; (2) having hope/empowerment; and (3) having opportunities for pleasure/fun. The results from the current study lend itself to promoting a more effective college outreach program that incorporates methods to help increase self-esteem in participants.


expressive arts, self-esteem, TRiO, Upward Bound, college outreach, low income, first-generation

Subject Categories



© Sarah J. Wright

Campus Only