The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States ignited a profound increase in undergraduate-volunteerism on college campuses until 2006. Since then, a national decline in student volunteerism has occurred; simultaneously, scholars have focused on recruitment and utilization of student-volunteers instead of undergraduates' retention in civil service projects. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to investigate the lived volunteer experiences of alumni and undergraduates of the Scholarship Program for Volunteer Service (SPVS) at a private, Catholic college in western New York State. The alumni group had matriculated in the SPVS from 2001-2005, at a time when the national average of collegiate-volunteerism was higher than the undergraduates' group matriculating since 2006. Nine alumni SPVS participants participated in a focus group session. Ten undergraduate SPVS participants were interviewed individually. These data were analyzed by Groenewald's (2004) five-step approach of phenomenological reduction, which modified Hycner (1999) and Moustakas's (1994) original structures of phenomenological reduction. Data analysis included (a) bracketing and phenomenological reduction; (b) delineating units of meaning; (c) clustering of meaningful units to form themes; (d) summarizing each interview, validate, and modify; and (e) making a composite summary. The three thematic findings of this study were (a) motivation, (b) religious application, and (c) pre-service learning. Conclusively, the two surrounding phenomena working not in isolation were collectivism and individualism. Collectivism was best supported by Strauss and Howe's (1997) generational theory. Individualism was best supported by Bass's (2008) economic theories of organization. Future research should focus on how economic factors influence human motivation.
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||College volunteerism, Human motivation|
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