Individual, Family, and Community Education ETDs

Publication Date



This phenomenological study explored how undergraduate professors from a large Carnegie Very High and High research university in the southwest demonstrated passion through their teaching as experienced and identified by students. The research comprised of interviewing and observing 6 undergraduate identified passionate professors on passion in teaching. Data was collected from a student survey which identified the passionate professors and focus group that reviewed and commented on the emergent themes from the data. This study aimed to answer the following research questions: 1) What constitutes/makes a passionate professor? 2) How is the perceived passion experienced by the student? 3) Do students learn more as result of a passionate professor? 4) According to the passionate professor - Is passion innate? Is it learned? 5) How important is passion in the teaching profession? The phenomenon of passion in education has been a widely studied field, yet mostly limited to K-12 educational areas. This research begins to address a gap in the literature on passion in teaching in higher education, specifically undergraduate education. Recommendations are made to further advance the research in passion in teaching for higher education.


Counselor Education, Education

Document Type




Degree Name

Counselor Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Individual, Family, and Community Education

First Advisor

Rifenbary, Deborah

First Committee Member (Chair)

Boverie, Patricia

Second Committee Member

Torres, Eliseo

Third Committee Member

Lemberger-Truelove, Matthew