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More Than a Third of Student Affairs Workers Looking to Quit

November 17, 2022

Thirty-seven percent of student affairs professionals are looking to leave their roles, according to research conducted by Skyfactor Benchworks, Macmillan Learning’s surveying arm, in partnership with the Southern Association for College Student Affairs.

The study, which surveyed 324 student affairs professionals in 38 states and Canada, found that of the student affairs professionals looking for new jobs, over half were exclusively looking outside the higher education sector.

The dissatisfaction stems from low pay, poor work-life balance and little opportunity to move up in their organization, according to the study. Only 17 percent reported making a competitive salary, 27 percent expressed comfort with their work-life balance and 13 percent said they feel “highly satisfied” with their growth opportunities.

“Staff would likely stay if they had career advancement opportunities,” Jason Wallace, assistant professor for higher education and student affairs administration at the University of Southern Mississippi and chair of the research and assessment committee for SACSA, said in a press release published by Macmillan. “Unlike faculty, who have a career pathway, many of them don’t have a track.”

Despite this, most participants reported feeling positively toward some elements of their jobs; 63 percent said that they find their work meaningful, 55 percent said their work serves a “bigger purpose” and 67 percent agreed that their colleagues treat one another with respect.

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Johanna Alonso

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