Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Dana Morrison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D.

Committee Member

John Elmore, Ph.D.



This thesis explores the punitive grading norms and lack of support from institutions and how it effects college students. More specifically, how it effects college students’ self-efficacy, self-esteem, health, and wellbeing. Through the lens of critical action research this thesis investigates the experiences of stakeholders and will integrate research and methods that have been supported by seasoned scholars. In this thesis, a two-part program focusing on imposter syndrome, fear of failure, grades, mindfulness, and improving student’s self-efficacy and wellbeing is proposed. The leadership of this programmatic intervention relies on the facilitator and focuses on mindfulness-based interventions and group discussions. An evaluation is designed based on a pre and post self-efficacy survey, as well as a self-perception questionnaire regarding stress, health, and wellbeing. This helps to understand college students’ self-concept and self-awareness. The intervention will assist college students in detaching grades from their identities and implementing a lifelong stress-reduction technique.

Keywords: Self-efficacy, mindfulness, mindfulness-based intervention, health, wellbeing, grades, grading, stress, learning, growth, college students