Date of Conferral







Stacy Orr-Sprague


There has been a significant amount of research on the impact of stress and job satisfaction amongst employees in a multitude of professional settings, including the criminal justice and higher education field. Yet, information on criminal justice professionals who work in more untraditional types of higher education institutions, such as career colleges, was lacking. The purpose of this quantitative research study was to examine whether there is a significant relationship between stress, job satisfaction, and being employed as a criminal justice department head within a career college institution and compare whether heads of other departments within career college institutions differ in terms of these relationships. Selye's stress model and Spector's model of job satisfaction were used as the theoretical framework. Nonexperimental quantitative survey data were collected from 77 department heads and instructors who worked in career college institutions. Participants were selected using a nonprobability convenience sampling procedure. The data were evaluated using discriminant analysis. The overall results showed no significant differences in the relationship of stress and job satisfaction between criminal justice department heads and instructors and their counterparts in other academic departments. Further in-depth research regarding the individual work-related experiences of these professionals could be beneficial in gaining a holistic understanding of criminal justice professionals who transition to higher education. With more knowledge, employers within this sector of higher education may be able to better evaluate institutional practices and develop more effective intervention and training programs aimed at improving retention and job satisfaction, as well as, igniting a change in the negative image that is often times associated with career college institutions.