Murray State Theses and Dissertations


An organization’s volunteer development program can serve as a useful tool in the P-20 framework to address transitional gaps preventing smooth and consistent movement of individuals from traditional education to career attainment. Utilizing Maslow’s Theory of Motivation and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, this qualitative study revealed volunteer motivation effectively resolved needs that work toward Self-Actualization. Satisfied needs, addressed by the volunteer experience, places the organization as a relevant partner in the P-20 framework to resolve career attainment goals. The volunteer makes the gift of time, skills, experience, and knowledge based on personal preferences to the organization’s work. Partnerships are achieved through volunteer engagement. This engagement serves as a P-20 component that may be used at any time in the life course of the individual. The knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired by the individual make the individual career-ready through the experiential learning construct. Wild Horse and Burro Program (WHBP) volunteers acted in efforts to satisfy hierarchical needs, only emerging to serve after Physiological and Safety Needs were gratified. Volunteers demonstrated an inclination to satisfy Esteem and Cognitive Needs. Phenomenological data revealed volunteer attitudes, approaches, and values. WHBP, a member of the P-20 framework, augments learning experiences through a volunteer development program. The results of this study complement the existing body of research of organizational volunteer development programming and relevancy of the volunteer programming to address P-20 needs.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

P-20, volunteerism, organization, program development, partnership, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Dissertation Committee Chair

Kimberly A. Bellah

Committee Chair

Kimberly A. Bellah

Committee Member

Brian Parr

Committee Member

John G. Massey

Document Type