Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version



Gill, M. (2015). Value and contribution of the participation in intercollegiate athletics on the personal development of community college-aged students. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nebraska). ProQuest Order No. 11991.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Educational Studies (Educational Leadership & Higher Education), Under the Supervision of Professor Brent Cejda. Lincoln, Nebraska: April 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Michele Gill


The purpose of this study is to better understand the value of the extracurricular experience for college students. Gaining insight into the variety of opportunities for student personal development as a result of participation in intercollegiate athletics and extracurricular activities during college is explored by this study. Quality student engagement activities and understanding the reasons for engagement contributing to personal development continues to be valuable information in development of student on campus programming at colleges and universities. This qualitative study takes a phenomenological approach to describe the experiences of students involved in intercollegiate athletics competition at a small rural serving community college in the Midwest. Through a series of semi-structured interviews of at least (n = 14), students tell their stories of personal development and the contributions that intercollegiate athletics made to their out-of-class experiences. Findings of this study indicate that the participants valued their experiences in participating in intercollegiate athletics, reporting the development of personal pride and a greater sense of self-identity. For the participants in this study, intercollegiate athletics provided an opportunity for increased student engagement and thus contributed to the overall campus environment.

Advisor: Brent Cejda