Date of Award
Education Specialist (Ed.S)
Advanced Education Programs
Very little is known about the perceptions and expectations of students as they progress through a postgraduate program (Phillips, 1980). Using a longitudinal methodology, this study investigated the process of transition and the trajectories of change in personal meaning that occurred in students during the graduate school experience at Fort Hays State University in the Master's Level Psychology Program. Two repertory grids and two surveys were administered to eleven graduate students during three sessions over a 1 ½-year period. At the final session, the examiner conducted an informal interview with each student. Results indicated that even though students shared many similar experiences on a daily basis, the pattern of change for each student was different. However, as a group, students began to define roles of self and activities of graduate school more coherently near the completion of the program. In general, grid based self-esteem measures increased over time and most students claimed they fell satisfied with the graduate training program and career choices. Perceptions of social interaction appeared to be an important component of the graduate school experience for students and was directly related to self-esteem. Moreover, students created a significant number of constructs denoting anxiety and tension. These emotions may be a necessary component for authentic growth and development during a transitional experience (Adler, 1975).
Copyright 1994 Doris Schaller
Schaller, Doris, "Changing Constructs of the Graduate School Experience" (1994). Master's Theses. 2480.