Matching Items (5)

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Social identity and the shift of student affairs staff to the academic unit

Description

This study explored the phenomenon of student affairs professionals working at Arizona State University who shifted from a student affairs unit to perform similar work in an academic unit. The

This study explored the phenomenon of student affairs professionals working at Arizona State University who shifted from a student affairs unit to perform similar work in an academic unit. The conceptual framework for this exploration was social identity theory (Tajfel, 1974), which asserts that individuals develop a self-concept or image that derives, in part, from her/his membership in a group or groups. This qualitative study utilized in-person interviews to capture raw data from four purposeful participants, and a software package (NVivo 9) aided in the grounded theory approach to data analysis (Charmaz, 2006). The study found that participants placed a high value on the college-centric approach to their student affairs work, but they still identified as student affairs professionals working inside the academic unit. Findings are useful to: supervisors who have an interest in the professional development and personal well-being of staff; faculty and administrators of master's and doctoral degree programs designed to prepare student affairs professionals; associations that serve student affairs professionals; higher education leaders engaged in organizational change; and higher education administrators interested in the roles of individual biases and values in organizations. This study will interest student affairs professionals making the shift from a student affairs unit to an academic unit, and it will inform the researcher's own practice and career development through his investigation of his own organization.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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How students make meaning of their intentional out-of-class educational experiences

Description

Many students spend a significant portion of their college life outside of the classroom, yet very little is known about the learning they experience as a result of their interactions

Many students spend a significant portion of their college life outside of the classroom, yet very little is known about the learning they experience as a result of their interactions outside of the classroom. Intentional out-of-class educational experiences offer educators a powerful window into not only understanding the college student experience, but gaining insight into what students are learning that has meaning for them. This research study employed a qualitative approach to examine how students make meaning of their intentional out-of-class educational experiences at a small, Catholic, liberal arts college. Four recent graduates of the college were interviewed on two separate occasions to garner a broad picture of what they learned beyond their classrooms. All four participants were members of the college's honor society whose membership criteria included not only excellence in the classroom, but excellence in the out-of-class arena as well. The students represented athletic teams, honor societies, service societies and clubs in their out-of-class educational experiences. While the participants discussed an array of outcomes as a result of their out-of-class educational experiences, each participant identified specific events that lead them to make new or revised meaning from their internal and external understandings of their world. Labeled as turning points, this research study found that there was a powerful interaction when combining out-of-class educational experiences with the opportunity to cognitively reflect on what each student was experiencing both in understanding how they viewed themselves, as well as the world around them. Consequently, student affairs practitioners, at least in this campus setting, can routinely discover cognitive gains of students implementing opportunities for college students to reflect on out-of-class educational experiences.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Women in student service roles: self-authorship and early career experiences

Description

Most research on the experience of young women in student service roles in higher education is focused on a reflection of the early career experiences of mid and senior level

Most research on the experience of young women in student service roles in higher education is focused on a reflection of the early career experiences of mid and senior level professionals. Young women enter the field with a set of expectations about the work and their early career experiences need to be uncovered in order to better understand what they expect from their roles in student services. This study focused on the experience of young women in student services and the dynamics they identify as being significant to their work experience. Six women in their mid-twenties working in student service roles participated in two dialogic interviews regarding their work experience. Findings from these women's stories suggest that women are aware of internal and external dynamics that shaped their work experience, and are engaged in their journey toward Self-Authorship along intrapersonal and interpersonal dimensions. Specifically, the women actively chose their career path, looked for opportunities to develop their professional cache, and were impacted by their relationships with their supervisors and colleagues. The women are interested in their professional development in student services in higher education and are active in shaping the experience to meet their expectations. The findings suggest that to understand the experience of young women in student service roles in higher education, women should be asked to share their stories on their early career experiences, including interactions with supervisors and other professional colleagues. By representing these voices in the dialogue on the experience of young women in student service roles, the dynamics that shaped those experiences can be better understood.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Connecting through mentoring: improving workplace connections through peer-to-peer interactions

Description

Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis – McChord (PCJBLM) is a community college extension campus that is challenged with complying with multiple policies while serving a transient student population amid

Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis – McChord (PCJBLM) is a community college extension campus that is challenged with complying with multiple policies while serving a transient student population amid budget constraints. Through multiple cycles of research, entry-level student services staff expressed concern about their professional development and their ability to contribute meaningfully to initiatives around student success. Student services staff were also concerned with their connection to colleagues and leaders within the unit. Research shows that leaders may need to be more flexible and creative in staff development to appreciate the diverse values and talents of their teams. Research also identifies professional development as essential to solidifying student affairs as a profession and meeting the demands of today’s educational environment.

Through multiple cycles of research, peer-to-peer mentoring was identified as the innovation to address the problem of practice at PCJBLM. The program was evaluated as part of an action research study. The theoretical perspectives guiding of the study were wicked problems, theory of structural empowerment, theory of psychological empowerment, and social learning theory and communities of practice. Peer-to-peer mentoring was evaluated over eight-weeks. Participants were selected via purposeful sampling. Key artifacts produced by participants were reflective journals and an individual development plan (IDP). Multiple qualitative data sources were used to triangulate the results. The quantitative instrument, Conditions of Work Empowerment Questionnaire – II (CWEQ-II), was administered to support learning about the participants’ feelings and perceptions about empowerment. The pre- and post-test (CWEQ-II) measures were used in conjunction with the qualitative sources. Credibility and rigor were addressed through triangulation, prolonged engagement, and member checking.

Results indicate more investigation is needed to address the identified wicked problem. Peer-to-peer mentoring supported a broadened view of the problem practice. The peer-to-peer mentoring program was structurally empowering while not completely psychologically empowering. The participants’ conflicts related to psychological empowerment were identified and will support continued learning in this area. Additionally, through multiple cycles of qualitative analysis, the values of this unit were identified. These values were essential to the developing community of practice. Continued research in empowerment and wicked problems is needed to support the future growth of the community of practice.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Improving levels of employee engagement among student services professionals

Description

The purpose of this action research was to study the impact of managers’ roles in improving employee engagement through professional development programs and customized action plans among Merced College Student

The purpose of this action research was to study the impact of managers’ roles in improving employee engagement through professional development programs and customized action plans among Merced College Student Services employees. Ultimately, the goal of the intervention was to increase levels of employee engagement among student services professionals to better thrive as a unit and for students to receive higher levels of customer service. The study was an action research study using a mixed-methods design. The participants for the qualitative one-on-one interviews were three managers, two classified professionals, and two faculty. The sampling was purposive. For the quantitative data collection, the participants of this action research study included the approximately 132 employees in the Student Services Division at Merced College.

Participants completed a pre-survey measuring their levels of employee engagement based on The Gallup Organization’s 12 dimensions of employee engagement. The survey instrument measured 12 constructs and included 36 total items. Based on the results of the pre-survey, managers within the Student Services Division participated in two professional development workshops on employee engagement. The results of the qualitative data analysis resulted in manager-developed action plans, based on the three lowest constructs from the pre-survey, for each of the departments within the Student Services Division. The customized action plans were implemented over an approximately four-month period. Upon completion of the intervention, participants completed a post-survey to assess the impact of the interventions.

The results indicated that managers who participate in employee engagement professional develop programs are able to effectively develop and implement action plans as employee engagement champions within the workplace. The post-survey scores for participants of this study did not result in improved levels of employee engagement during the four-month intervention cycle. The findings of the action research study will help develop and refine solutions to continue to improve employee engagement within higher education and other organizations.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019