Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Improving Quality: How Leaders Advance Student Engagement at Private, Tuition-Driven Institutions
by Sluis, Kimberly A., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2017, 263; 10279237
Abstract (Summary)

Students and families, lawmakers, and the general public have become increasingly concerned about the quality of U.S. higher education. Given the competitive higher education landscape, private, tuition-driven colleges and universities are particularly vulnerable to concerns about quality. This study investigates how faculty and administrative leaders attempt to intentionally improve one fundamental aspect of institutional quality—student engagement.

Using a multiple case study methodology, this study seeks to understand the processes and strategies employed by leaders at small to mid-sized, private, tuition-driven colleges and universities where intentional improvements to student engagement have been undertaken. Data collected during visits to each campus, semi-structured interviews, and document analysis provide the basis for the research findings.

While each of the campuses studied was unique and the type and breath of engagement efforts underway were materially different, several themes emerged from the data, including the necessity of faculty and administrative partnerships; the benefits of building on institutional values, priorities, and commitments; the importance of linking new engagement initiatives to existing efforts and energy; the need to bridge boundaries between student affairs and academic affairs work; and the usefulness of both transactional and transformational strategies in advancing student engagement. The results offer leaders at these types of schools tactics for successfully deepening and broadening student engagement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Eckel, Peter
Commitee: Kaplan, Eric, Kuh, George D.
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Higher Education
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher Education Administration, Educational leadership, Higher education
Keywords: Faculty partnerships, Quality improvement, Student affairs, Student engagement, Transactional leadership, Transformational leadership
Publication Number: 10279237
ISBN: 9780355218718
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