Date of Award

Winter 1-1-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Education: Curriculum and Teaching

First Advisor

Sarah Bonner, PhD

Second Advisor

Marshall George, EdD

Third Advisor

Nicora Placa, PhD

Academic Program Adviser

Sarah Bonner, PhD


Continued professional learning is a consistent focus of attention for the field of student affairs within higher education. Yet, very little research has been conducted on the factors that influence the motivation of student affairs professionals to pursue continued professional learning, especially professionals within community colleges. This study utilized a quantitative research design to examine the physical and psychological factors of the work environment that can influence a community college student affairs professional’s motivation to pursue continued professional learning. Through the theoretical lens of Lewin’s Field Theory and Eccles’ Expectancy-Value Theory, I designed a 58-item survey (N = 41) that measured both the physical (institution orientation, institution policy, supervisor support, and coworker support) and psychological (expectancy, value, cost) factors within the work environment. Analysis of the survey results suggest that the institution’s orientation toward continued professional development has the strongest relationship with a student affairs professional’s motivation to pursue continued professional development. Secondary factors include supervisor support and expectancy, or an individual’s self-efficacy towards learning. Both showed to have moderately strong relationships to plans to participate in continued professional learning.



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