Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Higher Education

First Advisor

Michele Tyson


Higher education, Staff retention, Employee orientation, Newly hired staff


High employee turnover in higher education has been an issue for decades, and successfully integrating newly hired staff (NHS) into their new job and the organization can be challenging for human resources and leadership. New employee orientation and onboarding programs can assist NHS. The author of this paper conducted a Utilization-Focused evaluation of the Thriving at DU program at the University of Denver (DU) to improve the program. The study examined the perceptions of how 12 student and academic affairs professionals made meaning of organizational commitment in the workplace throughout their onboarding experience.

The major findings of this evaluation aligned with Meyer and Allen’s (1991) Three Component Model of Commitment, and the three components are Affective Commitment, Normative Commitment, and Continuance Commitment. The evaluation findings revealed that NHS felt overwhelmed during orientation, and most attended to learn about employee benefits. NHS’s organizational commitment was impacted by feeling siloed and overworked; hindrances around inclusivity, diversity, career growth, and compensation; employees’ loyalty to DU through connections, supervisory leadership, and rewards.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Vanessa Lynne McWhirt


Received from ProQuest

File Format



English (eng)


253 pgs

File Size

1.2 MB


Higher education, Higher education administration