First Advisor

Christine Cress

Term of Graduation

Spring 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership




Experiential learning, Cooperative education, College students -- Employment



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 204 pages)


Student employees spend a significant amount of time at work. Prior research has primarily focused on the deleterious academic impacts on students, with little consideration of how student employment could be effectively framed as an educationally purposeful activity. This qualitative study explored how individual, social, and organizational factors influence learning while working on campus. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with undergraduate student employees who work within student affairs units. The findings indicate that on-campus employment is a site for learning; particularly competency development in communication, professionalism, problem solving, and leadership skills. Interdependent personal, interpersonal, and environmental factors of campus employment were identified as positively influencing these student learning outcomes. Further, four mediating factors were identified which intensified learning when experienced by student employees: work/life balance, applied learning, sense of belonging, and self-efficacy. A Campus Employment Reciprocal Learning Model is proposed to both explain the conditions that facilitate learning experiences in campus workplaces and offer a framework for practitioners to provide campus employment experiences that facilitate learning while working for undergraduate student employees.


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