Date of Submission

Winter 5-12-2017

Document Type



Doctor of Education



OIP Defense Chair

Dr. Elan Paulson


resilience, mental health, first year experience, post-secondary, change management


As the incidences and complexity of student mental health continue to rise, there is an emphasis on the need to review the first year experience to ensure that students are prepared for the challenges they will face in post-secondary education. Institutions attempt to address the concern of student mental health by increasing the scope and number of student supports, both formal and informal, in the context of decreasing budgets and increasing student expectations. Despite institutional efforts, students continue to report confusion about available services and an increased desire for specialized supports.

This OIP uses various leadership approaches and methods of change-management to describe how a postsecondary institution can adopt a strategic resiliency framework across the various administrative departments that support students. This framework is intended to allow the experts in these departments to create a resiliency program which will share important life skills associated with resilience, provide a common understanding of the available postsecondary supports, and increase the understanding of how these supports contribute to student mental wellness. This program will culminate in a common training for student peer supports, allowing for concepts of resiliency to permeate the post-secondary student community.