Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Jerry Ausburn

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Scott Bailey

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Peter Williams


This qualitative research used multiple case study methodology to explore the perceptions and experiences of part-time enrolled students at multicampus urban community colleges in the Southwest region of the United States. Of particular interest was how students defined success and their perception of what it took to achieve success, the utilization rate of student success resources, challenges encountered that caused a student to consider stopping out, the quality of relationships and connections part-time students had with faculty and staff, and the experience students had navigating institutional systems and processes. This study was conducted at a large, public, urban, multicampus community college in Texas. Participants in the study included part-time enrolled students who had earned 50% of the credits required to complete their identified academic goal. The data collection steps included setting the boundaries for the study, collecting survey questionnaire responses, conducting semistructured interviews, reviewing documents pertaining to institutional student academic progress rates, and maintaining a researcher journal for reflexive journaling. Deductive and inductive coding was utilized to organize data and identify themes. Key themes that emerged in this study’s findings included sense of purpose matters for persistence; time constraints and lack of information prevent utilization of resources and involvement; connections to faculty were crucial; seeing others similar to self was validating and motivating; COVID had negative impacts on connection, sense of belonging, and educational experience; advisors were heavily relied on for guidance and connection to resources; flexibility, support systems, and time management were critical for success; and personal life, exhaustion and burn out, finances, and lack of direction were challenges that impacted persistence.

Keywords: part-time enrolled students, persistence, community college completion, nonacademic success factors, multiple case study, barriers to completion, and COVID impact on student success.

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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