Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Social Work: M.S.W
School of Health and Human Services
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Belonging, wellness coaching, student retention, student attrition, higher education, higher ed
The purpose of this study was to examine whether not wellness coaching, as implemented at St. Cloud State University, has a measurable impact on participant belonging, as operationalized by the SCSU Belonging Initiative's periodic Sense of Belonging Index (SBI) surveys, which are administered at the beginning of each semester (Davis et al., 2019). Contemporary research indicates that a sense of belonging, or a lack thereof, is a key component in whether or not students continue to enroll on higher education, and is a stronger prediction of retention than GPA (Davis et al., 2019; O'Keeffe, 2013). Moreover, interventions designed to increase belonging may have an impact on reducing achievement gaps between majority and minority groups (Silver Wolf et al., 2017; Walten & Cohen, 2007). Wellness coaching is an intervention that can impact known factors of belonging (ACHA, 2020; Cemalcilar, 2010; Chiu, 2016; Clark et al., 2016; Duran et al., 2020; Krumrei-Mancuso et al., 2013; Masika, 2016; Pearson, 2012; Samura, 2016; Sforzo et al., 2017; Slaten et al., 2016; Swarbrick et al., 2011; Tachinea et al., 2017; Vaccaro, 2015). This study was designed to explore the relationship between belonging and wellness coaching by examining SBI survey scores before and after wellness coaching and determine if the process of using SBI scores was feasible as a method of evaluation. This study concluded that, while not enough data exists to determine the efficacy of wellness coaching in increasing SBI scores, this method of program evaluation is feasible and can be used again in the future as more data becomes available.
Westbrook, Erick, "The Effect of Wellness Coaching on Sense of Belonging Index Scores" (2021). Culminating Projects in Social Work. 8.