Publication Date

Spring 5-10-2024

Document Type

Action research project: Open access

Degree Name

MA Higher Education Leadership


Leadership Studies


The purpose of my research was to develop ways to support staff working in access and retention programs in higher education, who are experiencing or prone to burnout. The guiding questions were (a) How could collaboration with administrators working in access and retention programs in higher education facilitate learning to cope with burnout? and (b) How could strategies be developed collaboratively to address burnout in both current and future staff? I conducted three cycles using appreciative inquiry as a guide with six participants from different institutions between January and March 2024. The cycles included a GroupMe chat, a Zoom retreat, and recap video response. Findings indicated staff in access and retention programs are facing burnout at different levels but are highly motivated by personal connections and their students. Furthermore, staff are willing to have these conversations with departments/colleagues to address the issues and find solutions, if given the opportunity.

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