Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Student Affairs in Higher Education

First Advisor

John Wesley Lowery, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

John A. Mueller, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Maryanne Benjamin, Ph.D.


Affiliation with a professional association can play an important role in the professional development of graduate students within student affairs graduate preparation programs, yet some students choose not to affiliate. This research investigates factors that influence the decision of some graduate students to affiliate with a national student affairs association, and others not to affiliate, as well as examines the role of professional associations, as perceived by graduate students. The thesis begins with identifying the research problem and the research questions. This is followed by the significance of the study, the literature to be reviewed, methodology, sampling techniques, instrumentation, and analysis techniques. Lastly, the thesis discusses the results of the study, and its implications for theory and practice.