Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Gaier

Second Advisor

Drew Moser

Third Advisor

Stephen Bedi

Abstract

Because college students consistently explore questions of meaning and purpose, the present study aimed to further equip calling and career counselors to intentionally join students in this pursuit. Using data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s Freshman Survey and College Senior Survey, the study sought to distinguish between forms of involvement and engagement associated with positive change as compared to negative change in a student’s sense of calling. The researcher developed an operational definition of calling by combing two critical components: an internal sense of self and an external sense of purpose. The study employed the definition to create an experimental scale, Philosophy of Life, that—combined with CIRP constructs of Academic Self-Concept, Social Self-Concept, and Social Agency—measured a student’s longitudinal change in their sense of calling. The researcher utilized these change scales as the dependent variables in four multiple regression analyses and used four CIRP involvement constructs as predictor variables. The results of the present study do not distinguish between forms of involvement and engagement associated with negative change compared to positive change. However, multiple regression outcomes revealed Leadership, as a form of involvement and engagement, has unique explanatory value beyond the other three involvement constructs with regard to calling indicators.

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