Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Service Learning Projects

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Supported by a situational analysis and review of positive psychological literature, this paper outlines an application plan to support GateWay Community College’s ‘experiential learning with a purpose' vision which focuses on infusing meaning into students’ career development and learning. This vision was articulated by Kerry Sanderson, Director of Career Services, and Jessica Brosilo, Service Learning Center Coordinator, in the form of three guiding principles for our work: 1) accessing large student populations, 2) developing students' personal meaning and understanding of purpose through career goals, and 3) cultivating a broader view of success beyond career goals. Future-mindedness and self-efficacy emerged as key pillars in an integrative system for building meaning, along with the importance of persistence which surfaced through our discussions with Sanderson and Brosilo and our review of the Maricopa County Community College District and GateWay Community College’s joint strategic direction on student support goals. Our application plan rests on these three pillars: future-mindedness, self-efficacy, and meaning – with persistence running as a key thread throughout. The plan resides on three key processes: 1) administering a foundational, future-oriented writing exercise for incoming students that also cultivates foundations for self-efficacy and goal setting; 2) administering a growth mindset, belonging and self-efficacy intervention focused on messaging and environmental for incoming students, and 3) ongoing programming for students that supports purpose and meaning as well as student persistence.


career advising & development, civic engagement, community colleges, experiential learning, positive psychology, service learning



Date Posted: 12 September 2018