Garza Independence High School in Austin, Texas, is pioneering the solution-focused approach to dropout prevention and successful work and career transition. “Brief, Solution-focused Intervention” is a mental health model that was developed by clinical social workers and family therapist and has evolved over the past 18 years in the context of working with multi-problem, impoverished, and hard-to-reach individuals and families who sought help at counseling and social service agencies. The solution-focused model is a strengths-based helping model that offers specific skills and change strategies for enabling and facilitating positive future behaviors. In the school setting, the solution-focused model offers school staff specific skills for fostering strengths in students.

A summative program evaluation will be conducted in the initial funding year, which will include efforts to strengthen the treatment fidelity of the solution-focused model at Garza High School; development of an Intervention and Training Manual detailing the solution-focused model’s implementation across diverse school programs; development of appropriate measurement tools to be used in future outcome evaluations; and collection of pilot data on descriptive student characteristics.