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ERIC Number: ED548800
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 155
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-5718-0
Factors That Influence Attrition of New Professionals in Student Affairs
Buchanan, Jenine
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Widener University
The purpose of this dissertation was to identify factors that contribute to the attrition of new professionals in the field of student affairs. Student affairs professionals report low levels of commitment to the field and depart from the field at rates ranging from 32% to 61% (Holmes, Verrier, & Chrisholm, 1983; Rosen et al., 1980; Rosser & Javinar, 2003). The highest rates of attrition are found among new professionals (Bender, 1980; Holmes, Verrier, & Chrisholm, 1983; Renn & Hodges, 2007). A review of relevant literature suggests that many factors inform general job satisfaction and career attrition. An analysis of topics including career development theory, job satisfaction and burnout, and career selection in the field of student affairs provides a theoretical foundation for the study. This study identified the factors and experiences that lead to attrition in the profession of student affairs through first-hand accounts from those who have left the field. Participants were solicited through professional and personal networks. Those who were interested in participating were asked to verify that they met each of the criteria. Those who met the criteria were then asked to complete a demographic questionnaire and participate in a one-hour interview. Participants were solicited until five eligible participants had been interviewed. The interviews were then written as case studies and compared to one another using the multiple case approach. The data were then analyzed using methods of grounded theory (Patton, 2002), allowing findings to emerge organically throughout case study writing, coding, comparison, and summarizing findings until no new observations emerged. Major findings were that low salaries, limited career advancement, and inadequate supervision are common factors in the decision to leave the field of student affairs. Many other factors were identified as less significant contributors. The accounts of the participants can help the profession to understand the rich experiences of discovering the field, pursuing graduate education, and entering the work force in student affairs. The findings have the potential to inform future research, impact the preparation of graduate students, and provide valuable information for the mentoring and supervision of new professionals in student affairs. [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
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A