Publication Date

Summer 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

C. Samuel Evans (Director), Gary Houchens, and Robert Lyons

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


The purpose of this research was to identify and examine trends in the themes and patterns revealed in the qualitative analysis of the focus group interviews. Data were derived from responses from 21 graduates and six dropouts who answered questions from interview guides. Findings from the analysis indicate both graduates and dropouts experienced similar barriers throughout their academic career. The barriers identified were institutional, situational, and dispositional. Six themes were identified from the three barriers. They included employment, educational/remediation services, attendance, discipline and/or legal issues; educational values, and student-educator relationships. According to the data, these themes were not mutually exclusive to any one barrier. In some of the responses, the themes overlapped into more than one barrier categorization.


Adult and Continuing Education | Disability and Equity in Education