Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Jeffery Arnett (2000a) first used the phrase “emerging adult” to describe the unique transitional experiences of 18-27 year-old men and women. Since then, more research on emerging adults has indicated that the challenges and opportunities facing the young men and women of today are different from those experienced a single generation ago. This study was a qualitative inquiry directed at the experiences of emerging adults after they graduate from a private Christian liberal arts college. The goal of this study was to identify the challenges and experiences of emerging adults in this time of transition and to describe the essence of the transition from college to adulthood for graduates of a Christian liberal arts institution. In this study participants revealed that: (a) adulthood is a combination of responsibilities and personal characteristics, (b) the first few years after graduation usually entail a high level of uncertainty and job dissatisfaction, and (c) emerging adults from the studied university believed they were prepared to face the challenges of adulthood.