Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. John Nash


Deficiency remediation models of education imply that students may enter the university with deficiencies, problems, or needs that imply the student needs to be “fixed” before they can proceed in their academic studies. In contrast, strengths-based education models infer that students come to the university with inherent talents, natural propensities, and behaviors that can be leveraged to overcome their challenges. These differing perspectives can influence the effectiveness of university policies designed to improve student retention. This mixed methods action research study, undergirded by student development theories, examined the effects of a strengths-based, faculty-led coaching intervention on first-year undergraduate students’ academic confidence. The results of the intervention showed an increase in first-year student strengths awareness and understanding, along with increased confidence in applying and building their personal strengths. The participants all agreed that the different elements of the workshop (e.g., the facilitator, their peers, the workshop activities) increased their academic confidence. Implications of the study are that students desire small group interactive workshops that encourage them to learn of themselves by developing strategies to become aware, understand, build, and apply their strengths towards academic gains.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)