Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Holly Foster

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Thomas O'Brien

Committee Member 2 School



The purpose of this study was to explore the selection process of obtaining a graduate assistantship at the University of Southern Mississippi. Graduate assistantships implemented as an arrangement in financial support and professional development for graduate students. Participants in the study were 300 current graduate assistants at USM, and the data collection consisted of an online survey. Three aspects of graduate assistantship experiences emphasized: 1) graduate assistants’ awareness of the institutional process related to GA assistantships, 2) USM resources that support GA assistantships, and 3) what can USM do to facilitate the graduate student assistantship process.

This study conducted to address if there was a problem with the current graduate assistantship selection process at USM and focused on the GA selection process at USM. Previous review studies of the selection process found that universities generally rely on their institutional protocols to guide graduate students to a centralized system. USM did not have a centralized system to inform and direct students about graduate assistantship openings and resources. Participants completed a researcher-developed instrument revealed that while GAs was generally satisfied with the current structure of USM’s graduate assistantship selection process. They also reported the need for improvements to the graduate student assistantship process.

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