Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Tara Hornor

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Brian Cole

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Jeff Cranmore


Tuition-driven universities depend heavily on net tuition revenue to operate. However, the individuals responsible for delivering the type of enrollment that meets university goals, known as the university admissions counselors, tend to be underpaid, burnt out, and likely to depart their institutions before meaningful recruiting relationships can be formed. The implications of this issue lead to high costs of turnover and training of new staff, a recruiting territory in flux due to the turnstile nature of the profession and an office culture that lacks any genuine consistency. Many studies in the past have focused on the specific reasons that frontline sales team members desire to depart their jobs. The purpose of this study was to add to the talent retention body of literature by focusing on the specific reasons that seasoned admissions counselors at Christian universities have remained in their jobs when so many of their counterparts have fled to other careers. By focusing on seasoned counselors, the study allowed for a look into the best practices of enrollment leaders in the context of talent retention. The data showed that enrollment leaders need to hire mission fits that have unshakeable institutional buy in, strongly encourage a period of commitment to the role, employ creative institutional retention strategies, provide genuine care for their employees, practice the habit of providing engagement boosts, and provide a clearly articulated pathway of mobility so their team can see where they are headed. If enrollment leaders can commit to putting this recipe into practice, they would be actively assuaging burnout and leading a more engaged and committed group of admissions counselors that would ultimately benefit the university’s bottom line.

Creative Commons License

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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.