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Alexandra Thompson, Master of Science in College Student Affairs, earned EIU's top research honor for her master's thesis titled, Values Based Recruitment: Recruitment Strategy Effectiveness on Gaining Generation Z Matriculation.
Catherine Polydore, Ph.D., Professor of Counseling and Higher Education served as the faculty mentor.
The award is named for, and supported by, former dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Robert Augustine, and his wife, Kathy, an EIU alumna.
This study investigated the values of Generation Z students that matriculated at a rural midsized mid-west institution. Further, this study examined what recruitment strategies were effective in gaining this populations matriculation and the intersection of values and recruitment strategy effectiveness. A quantitative method was utilized with a mixed model approach. Participants included students that were born between 1995 and 2010 that were enrolled during the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters as first-time first-year students. Findings indicated that this population values honesty, hard work, personal growth, financial fulfillment, and education. The most effective recruitment strategies to gain matriculation were indicated to be relationship based ecruitment strategies such as faculty one-on-one appointments and shadow visits. There was no indication of a relationship between values and recruitment strategy effectiveness. However, some values were influenced by demographic factors such as gender and high school location. A recommendation for student affairs professionals would be to investigate the values of the student population at a given institution and ensure that the campus climate reflects the values of the students.
Full thesis may be accessed at Booth Library's The Keep