Student Conduct Practitioners at Hispanic Serving Institutions: A Multiple Case Study




McKinney, Jan Wilson

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The purpose of this dissertation was to understand how student conduct practitioners navigate the balance between the developmental aims and legal demands of student conduct at Hispanic Serving Institutions in Southwest Texas. Included in this dissertation were student conduct practitioners who met the following criteria: a) were currently working in student conduct practice at a four-year public or private institution, and b) who had between 1 and 5 years of professional experience. This study was guided by an overarching research question: How do student conduct practitioners at select public and private Hispanic Serving Institutions navigate the balance between the legal demands, and developmental aims in relationship to their previous trainings and practical experiences? A qualitative multiple case study (Stake, 2006) research design was used through in-depth face-to-face interviews and reflective journals. The theoretical frameworks that guided this dissertation were Weick's (1995) sensemaking and Goleman's (1995) emotional intelligence. Four themes emerged from the study: (a) developmental approach, (b) self-learning, (c) serving the community, and (d) self-isolation. Implications for practice include suggesting managers of student conduct practices provide intentional strategic planning and training opportunities to navigate polarities (Jacobs, 2014) between the developmental aims and legal demands of their practice, and align their training and assessment efforts using their campus institutional data on a regular basis. The findings suggest that more emphasis should be placed on trauma informed care (Carello & Butler, 2015) and the burdens of decision-making (Marchiondo, Myers, & Kopelman, 2015) impacting practitioners, especially at early stages in their career.


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discipline, judicial affairs, practitioners, student affairs, student conduct



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies