Type of Document Dissertation Author Clegorne, Nicholas Anthony Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-07032012-151159 Title The Lived Experience of Discovery of Purpose in Student Affairs among Emerging Professionals Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Mitchell, Roland W. Committee Chair Bourke, Brian Committee Member Fasching-Varner, Kenneth Committee Member MacGregor, Kim Committee Member Stamps Mitchell, Katherine Dean's Representative Keywords
- New Professionals
Date of Defense 2012-06-07 Availability unrestricted AbstractClegorne, Nicholas Anthony, B.M. University of Florida, 2002, M.M. University of Florida, 2004
Doctor of Philosophy
Major: Educational Leadership and Research
The Lived Experience of Discovery of Purpose in Student Affairs among Emerging Professionals
Dissertation directed by Associate Professor Roland Mitchell
Pages in dissertation, 146. Words in abstract, 297.
Some researchers estimate that as many as three out of five new professionals will leave the field of student affairs within the first five years. Furthermore low job satisfaction has been cited heavily among new professionals in student affairs. The alarming recognition that so many young professionals are unhappy and that more than half of the field’s new professionals will leave very early in their careers has prompted a number of examinations regarding the education, training, induction and supervision of new professionals in the field of student affairs. However, such examinations focus primarily on environmental influences external to the new professional.
Studies in similar fields have suggested low job satisfaction and high attrition rates are connected to a lack of articulated purpose in a given field. This study sought to examine the discovery of purpose as one possible intrinsic contributor to job satisfaction and retention among new professionals. A qualitative study was conducted to illuminate the stories of eight emerging professionals (first-year graduate students in higher education administration through third-year new professionals in student affairs). The research design utilized phenomenological and narrative lenses and engaged self-authorship and transition theory as theoretical frames in order to explore the lived experience of discovery of purpose among young student affairs practitioners.
Significant statements suggest that participant journeys were marked by repeated transition. Furthermore, data suggests that the ability to identify a resolute, self-authored, and impactful purpose highly coincided with a commitment to remain in the field. Additionally, emerging professionals who were self-motivated to join the field said they were more likely to remain in the field. In an effort to increase persistence in the field of student affairs, a number of suggestions have been made with the intent to improve graduate preparation programs, induction processes, training designs, and supervision strategies.
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