Term of Award

Fall 2023

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.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Daniel Calhoun

Committee Member 1

Pamela Wells

Committee Member 2

Chris Caplinger


This qualitative study examined the perceptions sophomore students at one public, southeastern doctoral research university had regarding campus resources and the potential impact on their decision to remain enrolled. Using a transcendental phenomenological approach, the researcher conducted individual semi-structured interviews to identify resources four students perceived to have played a role in their retention choices. In addition to the data collected from the student experiences, a review of social media and the student newspaper was conducted. An analysis revealed two themes that impacted students’ decisions: faculty and staff relationships and academic and co-curricular involvement. Findings align with the current literature, and recommendations to higher education leaders are provided to align resources to increase second-to-third-year retention.

Research Data and Supplementary Material