Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education/Higher Education Administration

First Advisor

Dwight E. Giles, Jr.

Second Advisor

Jay R. Dee

Third Advisor

Cathy Burack


Higher education organizations are distinguished by a structural divide between academic affairs and student affairs. Specific to this separation is the divide between the formal curriculum created and managed by faculty and the informal 'hidden' curriculum developed and delivered to students by student affairs professionals. This divide prompts questions about the role of structure and the cultures that are reinforced by those structures to influence collaboration to integrate new pedagogies such as service-learning.

Case study design was used to analyze three institutions in New England to understand the influence of organizational structures to institutionalize service-learning and to determine the degree to which collaboration between divisions at those campuses influences the institutionalization of this pedagogy. To approach the study it was important to understand the structural characteristics that define the work environments of each campus, and how institutional constituents, including faculty, senior leaders, student affairs professionals, and service-learning directors and staff understand the meaning and value of service-learning as a conceptual model of education. Six themes provided a framework for cross-campus comparison: separate purposes and responsibilities, faculty culture and relationships to student affairs, faculty authority over the academic curriculum, role of the senior academic administrator to motivate collaboration, separate reporting structures for academic affairs and student affairs, and the role of the academic department and its influence on collaboration. Interviews were the primary method of data collection, supported by analysis of institutional documents and observations at each campus.

The results of the study show that the divide between faculty and student affairs continues to be a critical institutional factor in higher education. However, findings also provide evidence that in some institutions traditional boundaries have become more permeable and fluid, enabling professional staff and faculty to work in more cooperative ways to expand a culture of service and contribute to sustained service-learning pedagogy.