The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Rachel Friedensen

Second Advisor

Phyllis Greenberg

Third Advisor

Emeka Ikegwuonu

Fourth Advisor

Steven McCullar

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

facilities, technology, higher education, universities, satisfaction, retention, persistence, environment


The goal of this quantitative study was to provide insight into the influence of facilities on satisfaction and retention of students in a single higher education setting, St. Cloud State University (SCSU). I used a survey research design with current undergraduate and graduate students to examine relationships among various aspects of facility design, student satisfaction, and student intention to persist to graduation. The survey was used to explore (a) the influence of specific campus facilities on students’ current level of satisfaction and intention to continue enrollment; (b) specific types of facilities most affecting student choice and satisfaction; and (c) how student perceptions, expectations, and satisfaction were related to various student demographic characteristics. The questionnaire also was used to gather the following student demographic information: (a) student classification (i.e., year in school), (b) major area of study, (c) housing status (i.e., on or off campus), (d) grade point average, (e) gender, (f) race and ethnicity, and (g) age. These individual characteristics were important in assessing how student perceptions, expectations, and satisfaction of facilities were related to various student characteristics. As established by this research, the availability of essential facilities (e.g., academic, residential life, athletics, recreation, student unions, libraries, and attractive campus) plays a part in student satisfaction, engagement, and, ultimately, academic success and retention. Specifically, academic and library facilities were highly ranked by respondents (87% and 86%, respectively) as important or very important for continued education (retention) and satisfaction. Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed SCSU provided them with an environment of accommodations and inclusion in which they felt a sense of satisfaction that their education goals were being met as they worked toward completing their degree programs. Demographic details of these two critical questions and all other survey responses are described in Chapter 4.


As I write this acknowledgement, I think back to all the people who have supported my family and me. It goes beyond my educational pursuits, but many special people have given me encouragement and sustained me, some with kind words they may not even remember offering; others (e.g., employers) provided mentorship opportunities that enabled personal and professional growth. The interaction, relationships, and experiences remind me of a book written by Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. All of us need to realize the impact we have on each other and what the take-away may look like. Through it all, I have been privileged to continue seeking knowledge to the point that I now stand ready to earn a doctoral degree. I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Rachel Friedensen, who has provided me with the encouragement necessary to continue working toward my goal of lifelong learning. Members of my dissertation committee—Dr. Friedensen, Dr. Phyllis Greenberg, Dr. Emeka Ikegwuonu, and Dr. Steven McCullar—have all provided their expertise for my benefit, and they each need to know the deep gratitude I will carry with me for their inspiration and kindness.



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