Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Nutrition and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Kathy Knight

Relational Format



Too many men and women with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) are unable to live autonomously due to economic instability and the lack of knowledge to successfully make appropriate and healthy life choices. To improve attainment of financial independence and autonomous living, transitional services must be implemented into grade schools so that adolescents can master basic life skills to help their future quality of life. Essential Roots: Planting Seeds for a Bright Future, a pilot transitional program and evaluation was conducted in a classroom at the Scott Child Development Center, Oxford, MS. The goal of the non-randomized, controlled research study was to investigate ways in which transitional services used in special education programs can combine on nutrition choices and business skills to help aid independent living after high school graduation. Essential Roots: Planting Seeds for a Bright Future demonstrates how time, patience, and attention on IDD students through such transitional services can affect their future. Tools for successful independence were taught through lessons in nutrition, communication, and money exchanging. Resulting from this program, Scott Center IDD students will hopefully be able to not only have more confidence, but also enter the workforce after high school graduation with new job skills. Hopefully, they will also develop a healthier lifestyle, including eating adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables. Armed with these essential life skills, students can attain independence and self-sufficiency in adulthood.

Included in

Nutrition Commons



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