Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership

Major Professor

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Howard Johnston, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah Kiefer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mary Beth Corace, Ph.D.


Involvement, Engagement, Motivation, Student Success


This paper is an evaluation of undergraduate college students’ participation in the Student Alumni Association (SAA) at the University of South Florida. I evaluated benefits of participating in the program, why students do not participate in the program, and if participation affected students’ persistence through college. Undergraduate students and alumni who are or once were members of the SAA participated in focus groups and interviews to evaluate their involvement in the program. Questions addressed benefits of being involved in SAA, why students do not participate in SAA, and factors that contribute to students’ involvement or lack of participation in SAA. Data from the evaluation were used to identify common themes within the framework of participation and involvement to determine students’ perceptions of benefits from being involved and persistence through college. Recommendations for practices are provided based on the finding from this evaluation.