Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This qualitative study explores the career transitions of women from the mass communication industry to academia using Schlossberg’s (1984) theory of transition. In addition to the job demands as academics and administrators, mass communication leaders must satisfy the demands of the professional communities their schools serve. This calls for a more practical curriculum with media and communication professionals serving as faculty members. For women, the demands appear to have another layer, as women are leaving the journalism industry earlier than men (Willnat & Weaver, 2014). This begs the following questions: Why are women leaving the industry? What are the experiences of women who have left this industry for an academic career in mass communication education? While higher education literature addresses the work-role transitions of faculty, it fails to target an important population: women in mass communication. This study explores the lived experiences of women who have transitioned from the mass communication industry to academic and administrative positions in the academy. Semi-structured interviews with 11 women are conducted to explore challenges associated with the transition, factors related to participants’ desire to leave industry in pursuit of academic careers, and gender-related concerns that define the transition from industry professional to academic or academic administrator. Implications for higher education and mass communication are discussed.



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Committee Chair

Alsandor, Danielle



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Education Commons