Term of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Juli Sergi McBrayer

Committee Member 1

Cordelia Zinskie

Committee Member 2

Daniel Calhoun


The purpose of this qualitative and explanatory study utilized a multiple-case study to better understand the impact of institutional conditions that contributed to continuing students’ success at Georgia Highlands College (GHC) in terms of identifying and making progress toward or achieving educational goals from the student perspective. The researcher compared two locations at GHC in northwest Georgia, a nonresidential, limited-access state college within the University System of Georgia. This study was intended to ascertain students’ perspectives regarding what they need from institutions to succeed. The researcher examined the roles of campus environment and institutional agents (faculty, staff, and administrators) to determine what matters to students’ success at GHC. A cross-case analysis revealed similar findings at each location in that students identified three themes, which were institutional characteristics, environment conducive for learning, and meaningful interactions with institutional agents, as important to their success.

Research Data and Supplementary Material