Understanding the beliefs, skills, and behaviors of practitioners and professionals working in student affairs
Correll-Hughes, Larry Robert
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The purposes of this study were to understand how individuals working in student affairs view the roles of educator, leader, and manager in their professional work, and how that may differ based on the institution type at which an individual works, the level at which an individual works in the field, or how an individual entered the field of student affairs. Further the purpose was to see if Creamer, Winston, and Miller’s (2001) Domains of Student Affairs Administration Model is consistent with the beliefs, skills, and behaviors of student affairs practitioners. For this study, a locally-designed questionnaire was created by the researcher specifically to answer the research questions of this study. The researcher solicited participation from the membership of SACSA, a regional student affairs professional organization in the southeastern United States. Regular membership status in SACSA allowed identification of individuals working at least half-time doing student affairs work in a college or university in the southeastern United States. The response rate for this study was 36.69% (N = 91). The findings of this research study lends credence to the framework, Domains of Student Affairs Administrators Model, conceptualized by Creamer, Winston, and Miller (2001) to explain and understand the three professional roles of individuals working in student affairs as that of an educator, leader, and manager. No significant differences or findings exist between professionals at public institutions versus private institutions in their perceptions, beliefs, skills, behaviors, or preferred methods of professional development regarding education, leadership, and management. Findings are consistent across participants regarding the role of education. The differences that do exist are found in the skills and behaviors of leadership and management based on level in the field, the perceptions of master’s degree professionals of the descriptor manager or management, as well as preferred methods of professional development. Overall, the level of agreement on the beliefs, skills, and behavior regarding the roles of education, leadership, and management is similar.
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