Project Director

Olson, Steve

Department Examiner

Brockman, Beverly; Gillison, Stephanie


Dept. of Marketing and Entrepreneurship


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The purpose of this study was, first, to research what involvement in student-led clubs and organizations (SLCOs) contributes to student development, engagement, and success. Second, to understand the perceptions that students at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga have about SLCOs and their impact on the students’ development, engagement, and success. I posed three research questions: 1) What is the perception of SLCOs from the perspective of both uninvolved students and extremely involved students? 2) What drives students to become engaged in SLCOs? 3) What impact does involvement in SLCOs have on students’ development and success? My goal in conducting this research was to contribute to both theoretical questions and a practical problem. Eight (8) semi-structured interviews were conducted, with students who fit into either an “extreme user” or “extreme non-user” category. I developed the interview protocol by drawing on the service innovation interview questions created by Lance Bettencourt to capture the core service and service delivery needs, as well as the desired outcomes, of service users. Bettencourt’s interview questions follow the Universal Job Map and user-centered methodology. There were several important findings, with three major observations. Firstly, Alexander Astin’s continuum of student involvement is better understood as a two dimensional model, with quality as the vertical axis scale, and quantity the horizontal axis. Secondly, the best driver of high quality, high quantity student involvement is for the student to have been recruited by an influencer in their community, either a peer or a professor who directly recruits the student to a specific club. Finally, extreme non-users perceive SLCOs as important, but only for other people. They see participating students as inherently different from themselves, even though by comparison their behaviors are not that different.


B. A.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts.




College students -- Societies and clubs; Student activities; College students -- Attitudes


Student engagement; Student involvement; Student interviews; Student-led clubs and organizations; Student clubs; Student development



Document Type



34 leaves




Under copyright.


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Marketing Commons