Date Approved

4-26-2018

Embargo Period

4-29-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Johnson, Ane Turner

Second Advisor

Kerrigan, Monica

Third Advisor

Ieva, Kara

Subject(s)

Student affairs administrators; Job satisfaction

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

Up to 61% of student affairs professionals exit the field within five years of completing their graduate program (Holmes, Verrier, & Chrisholm, 1983; Lorden, 1998; Rosen, Taube, & Wordsworth, 1980; Rosser & Javinar, 2003). Existing research has explored why attrition is high but has not accounted for what happens after they leave, what fields, if any, they gravitate towards, or how satisfied they are in their new roles. It is uncertain what percentage of academic affairs professionals formerly worked in student affairs or if their needs vary because of their previous student affairs experience. The purpose of this study was to explore levels of satisfaction and motivation among student affairs professionals who transition into academic roles. The study used Deci and Ryan's (1985) Self-Determination Theory as a theoretical framework, measuring variables using the Abridged Job Descriptive Index and the Basic Psychological Needs at Work Scale (Deci, Ryan, Gagne, Leone, Usunov, & Kornazheva, 2001; Ilardi, Leone, Kasser, & Ryan, 1993; Kasser, Davey, & Ryan, 1992). A total of 468 participants completed the survey. The findings suggest that academic affairs professionals exhibit higher job satisfaction and motivation, that student affairs professionals transition well into academic roles, and that job satisfaction and motivation increases post-transition. Implications for policy, practice, research, and leadership are discussed.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

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