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ERIC Number: ED547338
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 248
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-4177-5
Effective Professional Development Strategies to Support the Advancement of Women into Senior Student Affairs Officer Positions
Aala, Myhraliza Guerra
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Southern California
The lack of women represented in high level student affairs positions has been documented in the literature (Ting & Watt, 1999). The literature suggest that an existing pool of qualified, experienced women is present on university campuses, but has yet to be tapped to enhance the gender diversity at senior administrative level positions (King & Gomez, 2007), specifically mid-level managers advancing to Senior Student Affairs Officer positions (SSAOs). Past research has looked at barriers that have prevented women from advancing, but what we don't know is the degree to which professional development is an effective means of helping women prepare to seek SSAO positions and manage work life balance which is a prominent barrier for women in the literature. This research study adds to the literature by studying the effectiveness of a key professional development symposium, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Alice Manicur Symposium, and how the perceived concerns regarding advancement from mid-managerial positions to SSAO positions are addressed. Specifically, the study was centered around the Symposium's impact on self-efficacy in skill sets to pursue a SSAO position, managing work life balance, and overall effectiveness. Kirkpatrick's (1994) evaluation model to assess for professional development effectiveness coupled with Andragogy, adult learning theory, and self-efficacy were the theoretical frameworks that grounded this study. While the original premise of the study was to assess for learning, level 2 of Kirkpatrick's (1994) model, appropriate measures to assess for learning in pre and post surveys that reflected factual questions, were not distributed as originally planned. Therefore, a quantitative research design that utilized surveys that included open ended questions as well as forced choice questions was implemented instead. This approach resulted in evaluating for satisfaction, level 1 of Kirkpatrick's (1994) model, with considerations for perceptions of learning based on the open-ended and forced questions. However, the comments provided in the free response sections resulted in obtaining richer data from the study. Overall, the women who participated in the Symposium were satisfied with the program, highlighting that the opportunity to network, to engage and form mentorship relationships with faculty, and learning about the different pathways to become a SSAO and the general skill sets needed, increased the self-efficacy of participants. Self-efficacy did vary by professional level in terms of work life balance; and educational as well as professional level in terms of existing skill sets related to pursuing a SSAO position. However, in terms of learning and knowledge acquisition, the Symposium reflected what is typically seen in professional development: an opportunity to gather, talk, and meet new people, but little attention to professional development curriculum. Participant experience with the Symposium meeting the overall learning outcomes did not differ across demographic variables. The Alice Manicur Symposium was generally successful in terms of positive feelings regarding satisfaction from participants, however the Symposium was lacking in terms of curriculum development to meet program goals and learning objectives, based on the free responses provided by participants. Suggestions to increase effectiveness include: increased organizational structure of program; follow-through on pre-Symposium assignments and tracking of participants after the Symposium; inclusion of breakout sessions that catered to the specific needs of participants' educational and professional level as well as cultural background; and emphasis on curriculum by surveying professional needs of participants and aligning these needs with Symposium learning outcomes. The findings from this study will help providers of professional development programs to develop curriculum that is relevant and supportive in providing the skill sets, management strategies of work life balance, and confidence for women to advance to a SSAO position. Ultimately, it is recommended that program providers pay special attention to detail regarding program curriculum to meet learning objectives for learning to take place and for professional development modalities to be effective. [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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A