Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


A Quantitative Study of the Moral Orientation of Student Conduct Professionals

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Patrick Pauken (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Lara Lengel (Other)

Third Advisor

Chrisopher Giordano (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Kristina LaVenia (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Judith May (Committee Member)


Student conduct professionals find themselves balancing legal mandates, the needs of the community, and the needs of the student in decision-making. Theories such as the ethic of justice and the ethic of care can bring clarity to the decision-making process. This study examined several variables to predict the moral orientation of student conduct professionals including years of experience, current position, type of institution, educational background, gender, and age.

Moral orientation was measured using the Moral Orientation Scale (MOS) developed by Yacker and Weinberg (1990). This study collected demographic information to predict how the moral orientation of student conduct professionals. The population for this study was drawn from the membership of the Association for Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA).

Very little research exists on the decision making of student conduct professionals and the results of this study provides more insight into the profession. The findings of this study indicated the gender of student conduct professionals was a statistically significant predictor of the moral orientation of student conduct professionals. In addition this study found there to be significant differences in the age and years of experience among men and women within the profession of student conduct. These findings will assist student conduct professionals in providing rationale to their decision-making, will inform hiring practices and will guide the importance of training and professional development on topics of justice and care. In addition, this study provides insight into gender differences in the profession, which offers opportunities for future research.