Commonly referred to as the living room of campuses, student union facilities serve as an environment for the social, cognitive, cultural, and intellectual education of students that occurs outside the classroom. This study aims to provide an understanding and knowledge of the student union-activities profession, its dedicated professionals, and the impact of their work on college students. This grounded theory and phenomenological study sought to deduce how student union-activities professionals identified and selected their careers based on available alternatives. The research questions explored in this study were: (a) What are student union and activities administrators' recollections of their lived experiences as they identified and selected their career among available alternatives?; (b) To what extent, if at all, does mentoring and professional development serve a role in student union and activities administrators' career paths? The study analyzed the role that mentors played in the career identification, selection, and success of their protégés, as well as the benefits to the mentor. Also highlighted were the role of professional networks and the impact of professional standards in the student union-activities profession.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Student unions; Mentoring in the professions

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Rhodes, Kent;