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Transitioning from student to professional: the lived experiences of new professionals in student affairs




Okuma, Elizabeth Marie DeMuesy, author
Kuk, Linda, advisor
Little, Shay, committee member
Miller, Lisa, committee member
Tungate, Susan, committee member

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New student-affairs professionals participated in a 6-month, qualitative, phenomenological study. The purpose of this study was to use the constructs of Schlossberg’s Transition theory to explore the experiences of new professionals who had recently graduated from a college student-development master’s program and their transitions to full-time, professional jobs. Monthly online journaling was used to collect the data, with a focus group at the end of the study. The results of this study provide insights on new student-affairs professionals’ experiences during this transition from graduate school to work for the first 6 months of their new employment. The template analysis suggests that, overall, students felt their situation was manageable, they relied on their previous transition experiences during this period, their families and friends were their support systems, and the main strategy they used during this transition period was physical exercise. The data also suggest three emergent themes: communication was a must during transition, the process of transition takes time, and participants were excited to make a difference with students. Overall, this study provides the basis for academic professionals and others to gain a richer understanding of the experiences of young professionals in transition to their respective roles in student affairs.


2016 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.

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