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Understanding Intent to Leave the Field: A Study of Student Affairs Master’s Students’ Career Plans

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Understanding Intent to Leave the Field: A Study of Student Affairs Master’s Students’ Career Plans

1 / Rick C. Jakeman2

1Doctoral Student, Department of Sociology, University of Virginia

2Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration, The George Washington University

Citation Information: Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. Volume 51, Issue 2, Pages 170–182, ISSN (Online) 1949-6605, ISSN (Print) 1949-6591, DOI: 10.1515/jsarp-2014-0017, May 2014

Publication History
Published Online:
2014-05-10

Abstract

This qualitative study of 20 student affairs master’s students explored their career plans and perceptions of the field. Five themes emerged from interviews with participants who considered leaving student affairs to pursue other careers: (a) distance from the institutional mission, (b) student affairs as devalued work, (c) lack of fulfillment, (d) emotional burdens, and (e) financial concerns. Implications relate to improving master’s students’ experiences in order to proactively address attrition from the student affairs profession.

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