A post-baccalaureate understanding of a university mission

Morris Ray Jones, Purdue University


This qualitative study explored the impact of a Midwestern Christian liberal arts university’s comprehensive mission outcome through in-depth interviews of several graduated students. The university implemented a refocusing of mission in the late 1990s which integrated intellectual challenge, spiritual growth, and leadership development to enable graduates to go forth and change the world. The aim of this phenomenological qualitative study was to listen to the voices of the students who experienced a common phenomenon to understand how the university mission might resonate in their lives today and if so, how. The research was based on interviews of 24 voluntary participants who matriculated no earlier than the fall of 1999 and graduated from the university between 2003 and 2007. From analysis of the data 4 major themes emerged giving meaning and understanding to the university mission through the collective voices of the participants. This qualitative longitudinal study of a university mission focused on student development outcomes and represents a first of its kind for the university and a rare contribution to higher education university mission and student development literature of today.




Rud, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Higher Education Administration|Educational leadership

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