Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2024

Document Type

Dissertation (799 registration)

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Kristen Carlson


College, Success, Motivation, Belonging, Purpose, Time Management


For many individuals, researching and finding a college to attend is a wonderful experience. Many students explore college and take multiple courses, but do not finish their intended degree. Past and current studies have identified factors and reasons to why students dropout from college. Two well-known theories include A.W. Astin’s student involvement theory (1984) and Tinto’s (1993) model of college student attrition. The purpose of this study was to identify factors amongst students who graduated and students who did not graduate from a two-year computer degree program. The data derived from the collective stories of those who had experienced it. This qualitative study had a research method that was exploratory in nature. The epistemology component falls under subjectivism as the meaning resides in the students who experienced it. This phenomenological study interviewed seven individuals and investigated the personal educational journeys of four computer program graduates and three computer program non-completers. Prospective participants were emailed to gain interest in the study, and seven participants were recruited using purposeful sampling. After interviewing the individuals, the researcher took the semi-structured data and structured it into codes, themes, and patterns for analysis. This study aimed to find factors of college student success and attrition from non-completers. A sense of belonging and an understanding the purpose of being in college were important factors that were revealed by the participants.



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