Date of Award

Fall 11-8-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Roger "Mitch" Nasser Jr.

Second Advisor

Dr. Shane Williamson

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow

Abstract

This mixed methods study investigated higher education employee involvement with student organizations to determine if a connection existed between an employee’s engagement with a student organization and the employee’s retention at the university. Research shows that student involvement in campus life and with student organizations increases student retention (Astin, 1984); however, few research studies have focused on the impact this type of involvement has on employee retention. In this study, the researcher explored the following research questions: How does employee engagement with student organizations impact employee retention? Why do employees choose to support student organizations? The researcher examined these questions by gathering quantitative data through surveys and qualitative data through interviews. Two hypotheses were investigated. The researcher used a correlation test to determine if a relationship existed between the number of hours an employee was involved with a student organization and the number of months the employee was retained at the institution. Additionally, the researcher conducted a comparative study to determine if there was a difference between an employee’s hours spent with a student organization at a small, private university in comparison to an employee’s hours spent with a student organization at a midsize, private university. The researcher determined there was no relationship between an employee’s time spent with a student organization and their length of employment at their institution. The researcher also determined that there was no difference between an employee’s hours spent with a student organization at a small university compared to an employee’s hours spent with a student organization at a midsize university. However, interview data suggested that employees felt motivated by iv intrinsic factors, and employees found motivation in the workplace through engagement with student organizations. Employees indicated they chose to support student organizations because the experience was rewarding and enriching. Employees felt working with students and student organizations was directly related to their retention.

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