Journal of Appreciative Education

Uncovering Assets of College Students through Learning Contracts: An Application of Appreciative Advising

Dana Saunders, Bryant Hutson


The learning contract approach is increasingly adapted to support students returning from academic suspension and dismissal. At a large public university in the southeastern United States, learning contracts incorporating the Appreciative Advising model have been used to assist these at-potential students to identify and enhance their personal and academic strengths, develop a comprehensive plan for academic success, build positive relationships in the campus community, and augment academic and critical thinking skills. This study used survey instruments, student retention rates, term GPAs, and student feedback to explore the impact of the program, and found evidence that the program was successful at assisting students in enhancing academic performance and building support networks.


Higher Education

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ISSN: 2165-5421