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ERIC Number: ED554737
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 146
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-6939-0
Factors That Impact Career and Employment Preferences in Graduate Students Enrolled in a Student Affairs Program
Robertson, Thomas A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
Higher education in the United States is facing a potential leadership crisis. With the average age of campus presidents now surpassing 60 years, many senior level administrators will be expected to retire in the near future, creating a large wave of vacancies (Stripling, 2011). University and college boards are faced with the dilemma of fewer qualified replacements. Even with the current economic conditions postponing many senior administrators' retirement plans, this will only provide a temporary respite from the impending leadership shortage (Mead-Fox, 2009). To help address this shortage of qualified leaders, colleges and universities will need to look at alternative supply chains. Historically, current presidents have come from the traditional pipeline (i.e. faculty, department chair, and provost), but some Boards are recognizing the benefits of seeking those with experience in student affairs, namely vice presidents of student affairs (Amey & VanDerLinden, 2002; NASPA, 2010; Bullard, 2008). As college enrollment patterns continue to shift, non-traditional institutional types are predicted to continue to grow and expand, requiring additional leaders with academic experience and skills unique to higher education. This research focused on those factors that might relate to the employment decisions for graduate students in student affairs programs. The research indicates that the career preference for graduate students enrolled in student affairs programs regarding institution type were baccalaureate colleges and doctoral graduating universities. The least selected institutional types were community colleges, the option of "other" which included for-profit schools, and other organizations outside of education (i.e. government, non-profits, and business). Over two thirds of those selecting doctoral granting institutions as their preferred place of employment currently attend a graduate program of a similar type. Sense of community with the institution, supervisor and colleagues, and salary and benefits were reported to be the most important factors in selecting future employment. Graduate students rated First Year Experience (FYE), leadership development, student activities, orientation programs, and academic advising as the areas of employment they are most interested in pursuing. The position level of director/coordinator level received the highest percentage of responses when asked about what level of position students most like to aspire to. [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