Date of Award

12-20-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Degree Program

Educational Administration

Department

Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Perry, Andre

Second Advisor

Alcazar, Alvaro

Third Advisor

Del Favero, Marietta

Fourth Advisor

Bedford-Whatley, April

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate student participation in collegiate student governance, the impact of that involvement and its influence on career choice for African-American participants, and to enlighten educators about role and value of collegiate student government participation. If participation in student government and involvement in leadership activities is important in the overall development of a student, then the benefits and characteristics of that development may appear after the student graduates and enters society and the workforce (Cress, Astin, Zimmerman- Oster, & Burkhardt, 2001). Studies conducted over the last twenty years have attempted to measure the impact of involvement and leadership development on college students after graduation (Cress, et. all, 2001; Sommers, 1991) but not much has been written about the subject specifically tied to student government (Downey, Bosco and Silver, 1984; Kuh and Lund, 1994; Schuh and Laverty, 1983; Sermersheim, 1996). A qualitative case study/cross case analysis of multiple participants was utilized for this project. Following the collection of data through the use of a written participant profile and oral interviews with each of the survey participants, case studies were constructed and presented in a narrative form to allow the individual personalities of the participants to emerge. The use of cross case analysis allowed the researcher to group the data into themes and highlight patterns that cut across each case, more narrowly defining what related factors were significant to the impact of student government participation and the selection of a particular career choice. x The findings from this study indicate that while the impact of student government participation has an overall positive effect on students who participate, including greater career competency and self confidence, students attribute their choice of career to their chosen undergraduate major or other factors. Study findings revealed evidence that the impact of student government involvement was limited in its direct influence on career choice.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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