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ERIC Number: ED554714
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 269
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-6796-9
Voices from the Field: Stories of Women Who Chose to Leave Their Careers as Student Affairs Professionals
Waltrip, Laura H.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
This study examined the experiences of nine female former student affairs professionals who chose to leave their student affairs careers. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with each participant, using narrative analysis grounded in the feminist paradigm (Grbich, 2007; Nicholson & Pasque, 2011). From a backdrop of related research (Bandura, 1977; Betz & Fitzgerald, 1987; Fassinger, 2002), interview probes guided the examination of personal and professional experiences that led these women to choose to leave their student affairs careers. Data revealed multiple narratives that were used to describe the experiences in response to the research purpose. Findings indicated that all of the participants experienced role conflict between work and non-work (i.e. home life) responsibilities, and that a number of other personal and professional reasons led each to make a conscious decision to leave their student affairs career. Personal reasons included the need to spend time with spouse and children; professional reasons included low pay and, for many participants, unsavory work environments. A combination of motives led to the rejection of their student affairs careers in favor of motherhood and/or higher paying jobs elsewhere. Through these narratives, my study provides important insights into the experiences and decisions of women who chose to leave their student affairs careers. I hope these insights will provide valuable information for student affairs practitioners, administrators and supervisors, for graduate preparation programs, for student affairs professional associations, and for future research. Student affairs could benefit from reconsidering work expectations, with an eye toward family friendly work policies such as flexible work time and fewer expectations of late work hours. Further research is needed to consider whether men, particular fathers, in student affairs experience the same concerns with role conflict, as well as for job satisfaction concerns of student affairs professionals of color. [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