Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Larry H Ebbers
Frankie S Laanan
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and understand how recent college graduates made meaning of their on-campus work experience. The author interviewed graduates from a private liberal arts institution regarding how their on-campus employment impacted their academic success, overall student experience, and beginning careers.
The participants believed that supervisors arranging their work schedules for them when they began working, and the time management skills they developed because they worked, positively contributed to their academic success. They said they would not have studied more even if they had had more time. Solid work ethics got the participants to work, but, the relationships they developed kept them working. Through their on-campus employment the participants developed the transferrable skills of how to received feedback and how to deal with difficult situations. They also built self-confidence, developed patience, and enhanced their ability to be precise. The participants believed that those skills had helped them in their careers.
Recommendations for practice include: encouraging students to start working as soon as they start college, arranging work schedules for them to decrease stress, working 8-19 hours per week, ensuring that students are not working alone all of the time, finding ways to increase job responsibility, ensuring that pay is comparable to that of off-campus employment and training supervisors of students in the importance of their role, how to supervise and how to mentor. Recommended policy changes include: changing financial aid policy so it does not discourage students from working, creating student jobs whenever possible, creating institutional internships, and incorporating the priority of on-campus student employment into institutional goals and decision making.
Margaret Jane Empie
Empie, Margaret Jane, "How graduates make meaning of their on-campus employment: A retrospective view" (2012). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12320.