Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Nature of Satisfaction and the Conditions Under Which Students Thrive
by Jillings, Sarah, M.A., Prescott College, 2016, 100; 10116186
Abstract (Summary)

This research project explored the anatomy of satisfaction of undergraduate students’ experiences in order to identify the themes common to students who were satisfied with their college careers. The study also examined the conditions that help students thrive on campus focusing on college seniors who self-reported as very satisfied with their college experience. Furthermore the study analyzed the motivation behind satisfied students’ behavioral choices, including their choice of major and extracurricular involvement. Assessment of the quality of students’ relationships to others on campus served as a component of this research as well. A grounded theory qualitative approach was used to collect and analyze data. The study found that satisfaction is a function of a student’s integration on campus. Integration resulted when students enjoyed their majors, actively engaged in campus life, and formed and maintained successful social relationships. Characteristics common among satisfied students included openness to experience, self-awareness, sociability, and a willingness to make intrinsically motivated decisions with respect to behavioral choices. Students thrived in an environment that promoted the exploration of their intrinsically motivated behavioral choices, where they felt seen, valued, and supported in their identities, activities, and interests, and where they were afforded opportunities to discover, grow, and expand their capabilities and skills.

Keywords: college satisfaction, intrinsic motivation, student engagement, thriving

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Warren, Karen
Commitee: Mitten, Denise, Norton, Christine
School: Prescott College
Department: Adventure Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Social psychology, Educational psychology, Higher education
Keywords: College satisfaction, Intrinsic motivation, Student engagment, Thriving
Publication Number: 10116186
ISBN: 9781339776545
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