Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Josephine Moffett

Second Supervisor

Dr. Janice Kelly


The purpose of this study was to examine liberal arts graduate employability specifically as it relates to baccalaureate internships and underemployment. This qualitative phenomenological study examined experiences from 19 recent liberal arts college graduates from an urban college setting 1 to 3 years postgraduation. A focus group and in-depth interviews were used to ascertain the graduates’ perceptions of the effect that internships, interactions with faculty advisors, and the Office of Career Services had on postgraduate employment. The results of this study produced four major findings that provide new information about how the use of internships can affect liberal arts graduates’ perception of postgraduate underemployment. The findings from this study amplify the perspective of liberal arts graduates on the efficacy of the liberal arts degree, in general, and internships, specifically. The study adds to the body of knowledge on experiential learning, career advisement, liberal arts graduate employability, and the perceived effect of a liberal arts bachelor’s degree. Recommendations include implementing university-wide changes within academic affairs, advisement, and student support services that value the unique perspectives of nontraditional students.

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