Date of Award



© 2018 Michael K. Blanchard

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Brianna Parsons

Second Advisor

Joel Lowsky

Third Advisor

Malinda Mansfield


Only 22% of all students who enroll in community colleges complete an associate degree within three years, and only 16% of students at urban community colleges earn a degree in the same time frame. Community college administrators recognize that a majority of their student population desires to earn a degree, but many lack the knowledge, skills, and support to complete college. The purpose of this single site qualitative case study was to understand how community college students perceive wraparound services and how these services impact students’ persistence. Deil-Amen (2011) was used as the theoretical underpinning for this study. The setting was a community college in the Midwest. Twelve interview questions and three instruments were used in this study. The instruments included a demographic questionnaire, a semi-structured interview, and a personal artifact form. The population was defined as eight (N = 8) second year community college students. The sample mean age was 21 (M = 21) and 50% of the sample were male (n = 4) and 50% were female (n = 4). Using NVivo 12 Pro, 50 nodes were found, nine overarching themes were expressed, and eight findings were noted. These findings included:

• tutoring is essential,
• motivation is not inherent and must be fostered,
• coaching can promote persistence,
• overcoming social and academic barriers promotes the motivation to stay on track,
• life assistance helps grow financial stability,
• resources and services help students achieve stability,
• professor support encourages participation in social and academic activities and maintains confidence, and
• use of wraparound services is need driven and helps student persistence.

Findings from this study provide recommendations for students, which included:

• use wraparound services often and as needed,
• learn transformative leadership skills to overcome social and academic barriers,
• take advantage of life assistance for food and shelter to avoid insecurities in these areas, and
• learn to utilize professors’ support when offered and when needed.


Ed.D. Dissertation