Thesis

"What's my metaphor?" a retirement transition program for liberal arts college faculty

Faculty at liberal arts colleges are a unique retirement population because they generally like their jobs and don't necessarily want to stop working. As a result of the uncapping of mandatory retirement for academics in 1994, they don't have to. Since the focus of most faculty development programs is at the beginning and mid-career, the end is mostly ignored. Higher educational institutions, as their employers, have taken on the precarious role of facilitating retirement therefore completing the cycle of recruit, retain, and retire. The focus of most retirement planning is financial, but the psychosocial aspects of retirement for this particular population are paramount because of how their identity as professors is linked to their retirement decision and planning. The proposed program, "What's My Metaphor?" is a career program designed to address the psychological aspects of the retirement transition for mid-to late tenured faculty from small, liberal arts colleges. Using lifespan developmental theory and a transition model against the backdrop of a narrative approach to career counseling, the program contains both group and individual activities.

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