Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette

Second Advisor

Deanna M. Laverick

Third Advisor

James Racchini


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to evaluate dual-appointment university athletic trainers’ insights regarding attrition and retention. The guiding research questions for this study were 1) Why do dual-appointment university athletic trainers choose to remain or leave their jobs? and 2) How do dual-appointment university athletic trainers feel they can be supported in their jobs? To satisfy the research questions, seven dual-appointment university athletic trainers from different institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania participated in semi-structured interviews and document exploration in the form of calendar analysis. The transcribed interviews, researcher memos, and participant calendars were analyzed through the processes of categorical aggregation, identification of themes, and the ultimate creation of naturalistic generalizations using NVIVO 12. Through the analysis of the data, the attrition factors found were lack of coaches’ understanding, harmful athletic practice schedules, self-inflicted stress, missing life events because of work, lack of time outside of work, and unrealistic tenure and promotion processes. The six retention factors found were love a teaching, time away from work, physical fitness, support for work-life balance and mentorship, encouraging work environment, and positive student relationships. The support systems identified to assist dual-appointment university athletic trainers achieve success in their jobs were having a family friendly atmosphere, colleague and alumni support, formal mentorship, and spousal support. Through the theoretical framework of Role Balance Theory, a unique way of viewing the attrition and retention of dual-appointment university athletic trainers was presented.