Positive Psychology on the College Campus


The field of positive psychology has blossomed over the past fifteen years due to its uplifting perspective as well as research findings demonstrating the effectiveness of its practical applications for enhancing individual and organizational well-being. The concepts within positive psychology including focusing on personal strengths, positive emotions, well-being, and factors related to success and thriving can connect with an inner sense of hope and motivation for growth and constructive change. There is a congruency between these concepts of positive psychology and the focus on development, acquiring knowledge and skills, and nurturing of talent and potential that defines higher education. Indeed, positive psychology offers a refreshing and valuable framework for the programs and activities found in academic and student affairs departments.

Positive Psychology on the College Campus provides innovative and practical strategies that can be employed with students to enhance both their personal development and educational experiences. Individual chapters, all written by experts in their fields, describe research and offer approaches for readers to use with students. With its wide-ranging topics and distinguished contributors, Positive Psychology on the College Campus is a must-have resource for all those who work with college students, including academic advisors, administrators, counselors, faculty, residence-life staff, and student-activities staff. In fact, no matter where your office may be located on the campus map, positive psychology can be applied to your work.

Editorial Reviews

“This is an important book. I’ve long argued that positive psychology has the potential to transform higher education, and the provocative chapters included in this book provide anyone who works with college students with extremely valuable resources in the field. If you are a teacher, administrator, counselor, parent, student, or someone interested in the future quality of higher education, you will find the ideas and research here indispensable. Strongly recommended!” — Ken Bain, author of What the Best College Teachers Do, and What the Best College Students Do

“Helping students flourish – providing them with the knowledge and tools necessary to lead a happy and fulfilling life – is perhaps education’s most noble and important responsibility. Positive Psychology on the College Campus shows how we can take this noble and important ideal and make it a reality.” — Tal Ben-Shahar, School of Psychology, IDC Herzliya, and author of Happier

“As expectations for more students to succeed and thrive in college grow, so does the need for innovative strategies to address contemporary campus challenges. This book offers a fresh perspective on student success, providing college educators dedicated to helping more students optimize their undergraduate experience an array of approaches rooted in positive psychology, accessible applications across a range of areas of student development, and practical interventions to increase institutional effectiveness.” — Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director, School of Education Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University

“Higher education holds the promise of a good job and a great life. This book explores the psychological constructs and processes that make higher education positive and productive.” — Shane J. Lopez, Senior Scientist and Research Director, Clifton Strengths Institute/Gallup, and author of Making Hope Happen

“Ever wonder how students beat the odds and succeed even when confronted with a host of challenges? Positive psychology may be the answer. The multiple applications of positive psychology to higher education in this book will help educators shift from a deficit perspective to empowering students to thrive on both their successes and challenges. We need a fresh talent development approach if we hope to close the college completion gaps.” — Sylvia Hurtado, Professor of Higher Education and Organizational Change, University of California, Los Angeles

Positive Psychology on the College Campus pulls together the literature from various fields to create connections not previously considered. Administrators will find the application to practice helpful in thinking about new ways to deliver programs that enhance the student experience.” — Vasti Torres, Dean and Professor, College of Education, University of South Florida