Date of Graduation

Fall 12-18-2015

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Behavioral Health (MSBH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Dr. Kathy K. Raffel


Rubicon Programs transformed its programs through recent strategic planning efforts to address the change in their mission that refocuses their goal on the eradication of poverty. The challenge for the design team was reimagining with fresh eyes the organization’s programs and service delivery model by examining what is needed from a holistic approach to move individuals out of poverty; becoming self-sufficient without recidivating back to poverty levels. This focus on moving people out of poverty and increasing sustainable self-sufficiency and not simply finding employment adds a complex level of program design aspects to consider. It is important for the participant to obtain an entry-level job as well as develop and implement an employment plan that leads to a job that provides with a living wage and the flexibility of employment benefits. In addition to job readiness programming, the whole person approach includes time during the program design planning process to apply Freire’s critical consciousness theory and self-reflection to tease out the root causes of the individual’s barriers to continuous positive employment. Rubicon Programs’ bold approach to addressing the issue of poverty through its collaborative and inclusive redesign approach to research and the development of programs demonstrates its commitment to leverage the strengths and voices of its team, program participants and community stakeholders. In addition to affirming many of the common barriers Rubicon’s team was all too familiar, the research findings created an awareness of the need to address learning disabilities as a barrier to employment and leaving poverty.