Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP


High school students face unique challenges following graduation such as the rising costs of post-secondary education, demands from employers for a highly skilled workforce, and the desire of employers to hire workers who are not only technologically proficient, but also effective communicators and team players. Soft skills have become a commodity to businesses. High schools find themselves more and more responsible for adequately preparing students for a rapidly changing economy. Engaging instruction in social motional learning (SEL) for secondary students is essential in preparing them for this transition. Research shows that Adventure Based Learning (ABL) could be the vehicle for securing students’ interest and promoting generalization of social emotional skills across settings. The objective of this study was to investigate a program designed to foster soft skills in technical education students. Data included in this study consisted of pre-and post-student and instructor questionnaires, lesson feedback forms, and an electronic stakeholders’ survey. The information was obtained from twelfth grade students enrolled in a technical education high school (n=181), vocational instructors (n=9), administrators (n=6), and support team members (n=5). The results of the student survey indicated some small improvements in skills for managing emotions.