Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Thomas Updike, Stephen Schnacke, Emmett Burkeen, William Meadors

Degree Program

Department of Counseling and Student Affairs

Degree Type

Education Specialist


Administrators of programs of student personnel services are being called upon to be more effective in their planning, to redefine and modify organizational structures, and to find ways to bring more control and flexibility to the budgeting process and staffing patterns. Further, student personnel administrators need to be more effective in assessing student needs, in evaluating programs, in determining problematic areas, and in providing proactive leadership within a more democratic and legalistic framework.

The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to report on the current organizational structures of divisions of student personnel services in selected colleges and universities and (2) to determine the impact of selected problems on programs of student personnel services throughout higher education. The study, through the use of a two-part questionnaire, surveyed student personnel administrators at institutions that (1) had enrollments between 7,500 and 14,999, (2) were public supported, and (3) were primarily residential.

The first part of the questionnaire sought information regarding where each of 21 defined student personnel functional areas reported within the institution's organizational structures. The institution's organizational structures were divided into the four following major divisions: (1) academic affairs, (2) business affairs, (3) development, and (4) student affairs. The second part of the questionnaire sought information as to how student personnel administrators perceived the negative effect of 37 selected problem areas on their abilities to administer their programs of student personnel services. Each of the 37 problem areas were to be rated from one to seven, ranging from no negative impact to having great negative impact.

A summary of the findings is as follows: (1) Analysis of the data revealed that under the Division of Student Affairs,- student organizations, greeks, discipline, orientation, financial aid, health services, counseling, housing, career planning and placement, recreational activities, religious activities, and minority affairs reported generally to this area. (2) Under the Division of Academic Affairs, only academic advising reported generally to this area; however, records and registration, recruitment, and admissions reported most of the time. (3) Of the nine problem areas having the greatest negative impact, five are directly related to the depressed state of the economy. (4) Of the nine problem areas having the least negative impact, four of these problem areas received considerable attention during the 1960's and 1970's.

From the study the following recommendations, as well as others mentioned in the context, are made: (1) Because of the financial-related problems cited in this study, divisions of student affairs throughout higher education should continually evaluate the delivery system of their services and programs. (2) Because several of the problem areas that had the greatest negative impact upon the student affairs community are related to economic-related factors, public supported institutions of higher education should formulate sets of strategies designed to offset the inevitable losses of financial support.


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education Administration | Student Counseling and Personnel Services