Gutschmidt, Donna Jean; Ph.D.
Program of Education
College of Human Development and Education; North Dakota State University
Advisor Retention Issues of a Post-Secondary Student Organization: Delta Epsilon Chi
Major Professor: Dr. Ron Stammen
This dissertation is the culmination of a qualitative research study of advisors serving Delta Epsilon Chi, the college division of the Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA). The purpose of this research was to ascertain what variables within a post-secondary student organization, Delta Epsilon Chi, inhibit its potential to retain current advisors.
Using a modified grounded theory type of approach, this research study addressed the following research questions: (a) To what extent is advisor retention affecting the Delta Epsilon Chi association mission? (b) What factors tend to influence retention of the Delta Epsilon Chi association advisors? (c) What methods of training would be recommended for new advisors?
Three focus groups were held in two locations, New Orleans, Louisiana, and New York City, New York. Data analysis was completed using the constant comparison analysis method of emergent categories following the procedures of open, axial, and selective coding to arrive at themes of interest. Themes identified included the following: template and Internet information/communication, adjustments to workload so more time for Delta Epsilon Chi is available, feeling of inclusion and mentor support, frustration with name identification and lack of support, motivational factors including sense of accomplishment, and monetary rewards.