Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Voluntarism--Study and teaching (Higher)--Middle West; Universities and colleges--Middle West--Public services; Student volunteers in social service--Middle West; Student volunteers in social service; Universities and colleges--Public services; Voluntarism--Study and teaching (Higher); Middle West;


When students enter a four-year college or university, they begin the journey of higher education. Through direct and indirect means of structured course work, involvement in campus organizations, and other activities, students gain the knowledge and skills crucial to obtaining a career in their chosen field. Although a college or university has primary responsibilities for the education of students, it also has a social obligation to the community in which it is located. One mechanism that has been devised to mutually benefit the students' need to develop as responsible citizens and the communities' need for college or university expertise is the volunteer/service-learning center. There is great variety among service programs that exist on college and university campuses. This study was conducted under the premise that identifying factors contributing to a successful service program could strengthen existing programs and provide a benchmark against which new programs could be measured. In particular the study sought to examine organizational and operational characteristics of selected service programs. The research included b0th q1 .1antitativP. and qualitati\ l' c01aponents. Ten service program supervisors at six Midwest institutions were interviewed using an open-ended interview guide. The individual interviews were audio-taped and transcribed before they were analyzed. Results of the study identified five program characteristics consistent among successful service programs; (a) a defined mission statement operational in nature but complementing the institution's mission statement, (b) a defined location within the academic community (i.e. academic affairs), (c) full-time academic or professional and scientific staff members as the service program supervisor, ( d) funding through a line item in the institution's budget, and (e) consistent program management.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Susan D. Hudson

Second Advisor

Donald C. Doerr

Third Advisor

Jane Mertesdorf


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Date Original


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