Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Barbara L. Licklider

Second Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers

Third Advisor

Robyn Cooper


Students leaving home for college face new challenges and adversities as they experience newfound independence. Their abilities to be resilient or to bounce back from various challenges determine their successes as students and eventually throughout life. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the perceptions of eleven students who participated in resiliency development education (RDE) during the first semester of their freshmen year at college and to explore the meaning they discovered in their experience with resiliency education.;The themes ubiquitous within this study were: (1) the efficacy of learning resiliency through the pedagogy of storytelling; (2) the value of learning in community; and (3) the transformative resiliency development of post-secondary student. Thus, the fundamental structure of becoming more resilient, as perceived by the participants, was a self-recognized transformative development resulting from making personal meaning through stories and experiences within a community of learners, and then intentionally applying the learning to their own lives. This complex statement is potent with possible options to explore for students and educators alike.;This dissertation followed the alternate format that included three journal articles. Each journal article addressed a specific theme apportioned through the data, and which was recognized as key in understanding and applying resiliency in the lives of the participants. The first article addressed the meaning post-secondary students derived from the exposure to storytelling as a medium of instruction in RDE. The second article addresses the impact that learning in community had on the development of resiliency in the participants. The final article addressed the transformative development that occurred within the participants as they made personal meaning with resiliency through application into their everyday lives.;The responses of the participants supported findings of previous research that resiliency can be taught. A curriculum was introduced, adaptable in nature, to be used at the post-secondary level with the express purpose of introducing resiliency development to college students.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Kristine Myhrwold Meyer



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

185 pages