Date of Award



© 2016 Emiel Barrett

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Carol Holmquist

Second Advisor

Michelle Collay

Third Advisor

Jeffery Wooten


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how Senior Enlisted Academy (SEA) graduates describe their experience of applying the SEA curriculum in their workplace. The researcher identified that the formulation of an effective senior enlisted leader’s development is a relationship between what is learned at the SEA and the unique professional and personal experiences of each student. Using Moustakas’ (1994) phenomenological approach, the researcher drew data from interviews with senior enlisted graduates from the SEA. As the researcher focused on the participants’ experiences and views about applying the SEA curriculum in their workplace, the analyzed data suggested that their contributions to the learning environment were not motivated by academic rewards; instead, they felt personally supported by their peers and comfortable with sharing their individuality. By listening to the graduates’ perspectives, a high emphasis was placed on building a community through peer networking and applying what was useful in the workplace. However, the peer feedback method of assessment and learning was not evaluated; therefore, its importance was not attributed to the SEA’s learning outcome. The participants noted that they were able to connect their prior knowledge and perspectives, and to incorporate other shared experiences, to support the learning progress. Nevertheless, the participants found that their true academic achievement connected to life after the SEA. The participants also pointed out that, as part of their transition back into the workplace, making professional connections contributed to helping with workplace issues.


Ed.D. Dissertation