Date Capstone Completed


Document Type



Leadership Education


Theresa A. Waterbury


Resilience has been identified as an essential skill for leaders (Basso, Gruendel, Key, MacBlaine, & Reynolds, 2015) and as crucial for navigating both school and life challenges (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). Research indicates that there are a variety of ways to build resilience, including in educational settings (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). Higher education institutions utilize pedagogical practices to maximize student learning and growth opportunities (Rennick, 2015). One pedagogical frame often employed is experiential education. College and university faculty have embedded experiential learning pedagogy in the curriculum to facilitate learning outside the classroom (Liang, Caton, & Hill, 2015; Jordan, Gagnon, Anderson, & Pilcher, 2018; Towers & Loyness, 2018). Additionally, experiential education principles have been integrated with study abroad curriculum to support student learning (Harper, 2018; Pipitone and Raghaven, 2017; Pipitone, 2018).

Educators are interested in learning more about the potential effect of strengths-based initiatives in higher education (Soria & Stubblefield, 2015a). While scholars have reported on the benefits of utilizing a strengths-based curriculum for personal development (Passerilli, Hall, & Anderson, 2010), much work is still needed to explore the potential outcomes of strengths-based education on resilience development. This research sought to address the gap in the literature using a short-term graduate study abroad program embedded with experiential education practices to examine how the pedagogy design contributed to students’ perceived growth in resilience. The strengths-based curricular design included approximately sixty hours of strengths-based instruction prior to the trip and fourteen days of applying the common strengths language to enhance learning experiences and mitigate challenges.


Chelsea K. Dresen, Masters of Science in Leadership Education: Organizational Leadership

Matthew L. Wilmes, Masters of Science in Leadership Education: Organizational Leadership

Karen R. Sullivan, Masters of Science in Leadership Education: Professional Leadership

Theresa A. Waterbury, Winona State University Faculty

Unique Identifier


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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