Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Jason Wozniak, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jacqueline S. Hodes, Ed.D.

Committee Member

John Elmore, Ph.D.


This thesis seeks to prepare college students for adulthood by understanding them as “whole” people, multi-faceted and knowledgeable in their own right. Using the campus garden as a vehicle, participants will engage with surface-level health concepts, the campus environment, and their wider community to develop practical skills, social support systems, and a sense of civic engagement. As participants learn the skills to manage their own wellbeing in times of external stress, they will come to understand themselves as belonging to a community and in turn, develop an investment and commitment to their communities as community stewards. My intervention, The Ivy League Garden Coalition, utilizes an educational philosophy based in non-hierarchical, experiential education in an immersive, year-long effort to empower its participants and reaffirm their role as both students and educators. Using a range of frameworks and models, including Schlossberg’s Transition Theory, Therapeutic Landscape Theory, and the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, this intervention will help students develop the capacity to care for themselves as independent adults, as well as the desire to care for the community around them.