Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Andrew Lumpe

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Karan Duwe

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Rick Zomer


Transitioning from middle to high school comes with a lot of hiccups and challenges for adolescents as they are having to deal with this huge change during a season of life that is challenging. During adolescence, teenagers experience various mental, psychological, and physiological changes. This dynamic developmental period comes with intense changes, and having a better understanding can help teachers, school staff, parents, and peers work through these challenges with teenagers. This study explored the experiences of students when they transitioned from Grade 8 to Grade 9, examined the available support systems during this transition, and how students utilized the available support services. In the study, the researcher utilized an interpretative phenomenological analysis and a semistructured interview protocol via Zoom to understand the lived experiences of students transitioning from middle school to high school. The sample size included five student participants, five parent participants, and two school counselors. All the five student participants are current 10th-grade students who transitioned from feeder middle schools within the same school district. Interviews took place online using Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study found that some significant socioemotional issues occurred during this transition period. Results from the study indicated that students felt overwhelmed during the first few weeks of transitioning to ninth grade but quickly overcame these challenges as they utilized available support provided by school staff. Findings from the study imply that parents and school administrators played a role in ensuring that the transition was smooth and manageable.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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