Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Archer, D. Eric

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Higher education; Adult education; Education; Motivation in education--Research; College students--Employment--Research; College students--Recreation; Academic achievement--Research


This research study examined the on-campus part-time employment experiences of traditional aged college students to gain a deeper understanding of how learning occurs within this workplace setting. Using a basic interpretative research design rooted in a constructivist paradigm, collegiate recreation student employees explored the meaning of their on-campus work experience as it related to learning, by answering a series of questions in a three-phased interview process. Contributing to the trustworthiness of the study, I reviewed and analyzed student employee reflective journals and workplace documents.;Research participants identified four themes related to how students described their past and current experiences: (1) "Embellished what I brought to the table"; (2) "Really got good at it"; (3) "Learned from scratch"; and (4) "Leadership". Participants identified several learning strategies they used to navigate learning in the workplace. Student employees in the study revealed that their perceptions of work changed as result of their part-time employment experience. I used three workplace conceptual frameworks to make sense of study findings.;Several findings support previous research in collegiate extracurricular learning, college student employment, and workplace learning. A significant finding of the study is that research participants drew upon their prior life experiences to build on learning, skills, and work concepts. A supplemental file (Campus_Recreation_Participant_Data_by_Themes.pdf) which includes participant data related to the themes and sub-themes accompanies this dissertation.


Includes supplementary digital materials.||Advisors: D. Eric Archer.||Committee members: Jane Rheineck; Kelly Wesener.


457 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type