Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology & Higher Education

First Committee Member

Mario Martinez

Second Committee Member

Vicki Rosser

Third Committee Member

Robert Ackerman

Fourth Committee Member

Daniel McLean

Number of Pages



Career service directors lead the third most common division within student affairs departments, but the leadership of a collegiate career services office has not been represented in higher education research. Obtaining a "good job" has consistently been noted as a main reason to attend college (Pryor, Hurtado, Saenz, Santos & Korn, 2007). The rising costs of higher education have also yielded the question, "What can college do for me?" financially and with future career opportunities (Baum & Payea, 2005; Moretti, 2004; Pryor, Hurtado, Saenz, Santos & Korn, 2007; Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, 2009). The functions of career services staff are at the center of addressing these expectations.

This nationwide study examined the leadership orientations and effectiveness of college and university career service directors by obtaining responses from: (1) the Bolman and Deal (1984, 1991, 2008) Leadership Orientations Survey, (2) a created career services effectiveness measure rooted in standards from the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, and (3) a background questionnaire. Human resources was widely reported as a top leadership orientation. However, regression analysis revealed that three leadership orientations (human resources, political, and symbolic) explained effectiveness, along with experience in career services at any level and as a director, and resource adequacy to carry out the director's job.


Career development – Information services; Career services; College students; Educational leadership; Effectiveness; Leadership; Student affairs administrators; Vocational guidance


Educational Leadership | Higher Education Administration

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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