Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Jon A. Oliver


The purpose of this study was to assess the overall predictors of job satisfaction for student employees within campus recreation departments. The study centered around three main research questions, 1) what are the predicting factors of job satisfaction? 2) What, if any, differences exist based on the size of the school? 3) What, if any, differences exist based on whether the academic major is closely related to campus recreation?

The questionnaire was completed by 150 students at nine different universities. Data analysis revealed that four factors had a significant influence on job satisfaction of college students working within campus recreation. Three of these were motivating factors and one was a hygiene factor. The three significant motivators were, work itself (B=.147, p <.05), professional growth opportunities (B=.304, p< .001), and good feelings about the organization (B= .121, p< .05). The hygiene factor was satisfaction with pay (B=.097, p< .05).

Further analysis showed that the size of the institution did have a significant effect on at least one perceived work environment factor. The significant difference was shown to exist within the motivating factors of employee 'recognition', (F(2,147)=3.655, p <.05). A Tukey's post hoc analysis was used to determine the nature of differences between the groups based on size of school. Data analysis indicated that students working in campus recreation at larger schools (>20k) received significantly lower levels of recognition (m=3.71, SD=.991) when compared to student employees at smaller schools (<10k) (m=4.15, SD= .714).

ANOVA results revealed significant differences within groups and perceived work environment factors. One significant difference was found between program areas of employment (F(3, 145) = 3.122. Tukey's post hoc analysis was used to determine the nature of the difference and analysis revealed that students employed within intramural sports reported higher satisfaction with the work itself (m=4.42, SD= .703) when compared to students employed within facilities management (m= 4.00, SD= .853). A second significant difference was observed based on program area of employment (F(3, 146) = 5.289. Tukey's post hoc analysis showed that students employed within intramural sports experience greater levels of satisfaction with pay (m= 3.61, SD= 1.226) when compared to employees within fitness instructing (m= 2.64, SD=1.221) and facilities management program areas (m=2.87, SD= 1.31).

The research findings will be useful to professional campus recreation administrators who are searching for ways to more effectively motivate their student employees. These findings can be utilized to create new policies and initiatives within the departments. Furthermore, existing incentive programs or job duties could be modified to help student employees reach higher levels of satisfaction. Ultimately, increased levels of job satisfaction should result in greater employee commitment, higher quality job performance, and success of new student development ideas or programs.