A phenomenological study to understand the perceived impact of motivational coaching on the lived experiences of students at an urban tutoring center.


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High school students are subjected to rigorous academic testing, which causes exhaustion and burnout in many of them. College entrance exams and district assessments are two examples of high-stakes testing that take place. Burnout caused by high-stakes testing has a negative impact on students and their ability to matriculate into the college of their choice, thereby impeding their academic progression. Students ages 13–18 who are burned out or exhausted are more likely to fail or perform inadequately in school, and this is a growing problem in the learning community (Minzlaff, 2019). Studies have found a link between high-stakes testing and cases of burnout, which can result in low motivation, exhaustion, stress, and anxiety for those who take part in them. Burnout, a state of physical and mental exhaustion, is a prevalent issue in society, preventing students from achieving academic success but is preventable. Mentor-mentee relationships are crucial in preventing student burnout. This phenomenological study examined student burnout and highlights the students’ perspectives on the mentor and mentee relationship. This study took place at Learnza tutoring center in North Texas that emphasized motivational coaching. Motivational coaching focuses on resiliency and coping skills, while utilizing motivational interviewing (MI) strategies. It was possible to gain a better understanding of the importance of the mentor-mentee relationship through students' lived experiences and personal descriptions of stress, anxiety, and burnout, which were combined with a description of mentor support. The Power-Load-Margin Theory developed by Howard McClusky was applied in this study (PLM; McClusky, 1965). The PLM framework served as a guide for this investigation, which demonstrated how balancing Power and Load factors helped to reduce stress. Furthermore, this research looked into potential emotional coping interventions, such as motivational coaching, as a way to better understand and combat stressors in the workplace. It was discovered that students appreciate the mentor-mentee relationship, and that the motivational coaching curriculum assisted students in dealing with stress by providing a calm, supportive, and motivating environment.



Motivational coaching. McClusky’s power-load-margin theory. Community workplace. Stress. Anxiety. Burnout. Support. Calm mentor-mentee relationships.