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ERIC Number: ED520937
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 197
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-9228-4
Student Affairs Graduate Assistantships: An Empirical Study of the Perceptions of Graduate Students' Competence, Learning, and Professional Development
Hephner LaBanc, Brandi
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
Graduate preparatory programs in student affairs usually include a graduate-assistantship experience. This experience is intended to expose students to valuable work experiences that will afford them the opportunity to apply theory to practice, as well as build professional competence. The underlying assumption is that this is primarily an educational experience. Yet surprisingly, there has been little research on student perceptions of this experience. The purpose of this study was to explore students' perceptions of their use and development of critical competencies and whether those relate to specific work context and demographic characteristics. This study was conducted with current graduate assistants employed in student affairs. The theoretical framework related to experiential learning and the competencies of interest were derived from "Professional Competencies" published by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) in 2007. Students' perceptions were gathered via two surveys (one focused on competency use and the other on development) completed by the graduate members of ACPA. Key findings include the most and least used competencies, the most and least developed competencies, advantages of multiple work environment experiences, differences related to specific work contexts, and limited demographic characteristic differences. Most importantly, the findings serve to remind student affairs professionals of their responsibility to provide holistic educational experiences for "all" students. It is critical to remember that although the graduate assistantship serves a critical role in the organizational design and service/programmatic delivery of student affairs units, at its core it remains an educational and professional development endeavor. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A