Date of Award

Fall 11-17-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Angela Owusu-Ansah, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Deborah Jones, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Therese Kanai, Ph.D


This correlational study sought to determine the relationship between advisor servant leadership behaviors and first-year students’ intent to persist from fall 2016 to spring 2017 and from spring 2017 to fall 2017 with students in a private, four-year, religiously affiliated university in the United States. The research was grounded in Tinto’s (1975) persistence theory and Greenleaf’s (1977) theory of servant leadership. The Advisor Servant Leadership Behavior Scale (ASLBS) (Paul, 2012) and descriptive analysis were applied. Study results indicated that all four servant-leader constructs, degree awareness (DA), conceptual mapping (CM), advising environment (AE), and holistic growth (HG), were associated with advisors’ influence on their students’ decisions to continue from fall term to spring term; only DA and AE were associated with intent to return from spring term to the next fall term. Based on the results, in a private, four-year, non-profit, religiously affiliated university in the United States, combined servant leader behaviors (DA, CM, AE, and HG) are associated with student persistence during an academic year. DA and AE behaviors are related to student persistence into the advancing year.

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