This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Examination of Undergraduate Student Employees’ Learning and Holistic Development




Cotant, Lauren

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


As higher education institutions continue to employ students to carryout operational functions and supplement professional staff, they should question how the on-campus employment experience is adding value to students’ holistic development and education (Peck et al., 2015). The purpose of this study was to identify student employees’ holistic learning and self-leadership based upon their type of employment, as well as explore whether a relationship existed between developmental learning outcomes and self-leadership among this population of college students. Participants were collegiate students engaged in on campus, part-time employment while working to attain a bachelor’s degree, and their employment type was the job assignment or learning context in which they experienced campus employment. This study used a demographic questionnaire and two instruments for data collection. The Student Employee Outcomes Survey (SEOS; Athas et al., 2013) determined participants’ co-curricular learning and development resulting from their employment role, while the Revised Self-Leadership Questionnaire (RLSQ; Houghton & Neck, 2002) determined leadership behaviors. The results of this study yielded a significant, negative association between learning and self-leadership. However, there were no significant differences in learning or leadership by employment type. This information contributed to the literature and supports a better understanding of student employment and its impact on students’ learning and leadership. Limitations and implications for practice were also discussed.