Isaac Scientific Publishing

Journal of Advances in Education Research

Work Orientation of Graduate Assistants

Download PDF (248.5 KB) PP. 27 - 33 Pub. Date: February 21, 2017

DOI: 10.22606/jaer.2017.21004


  • Karen Haley*
    Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Jean Henscheid
    McClure Center for Public Policy Research, University of Idaho, Boise, Idaho, United States
  • Becky Boesch
    Postsecondary, Adult, and Continuing Education, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Lindsey Blem
    Residence Life and Conduct, Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon, United States


Completing a graduate assistantship (GA) is one key experience that can provide both work experience and socialization to a career as well as provide financial assistance in exchange for services. This qualitative study explored the motivation of GAs through an “orientation to work” lens. The findings show that GAs exhibit a high extrinsic motivation (positive or negative) toward their work, and graduate administrative assistants exhibit a higher positive intrinsic motivation to work than graduate teaching assistants or graduate research assistants.


Graduate assistant, teaching assistant, research assistant, higher education.


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