Date of Award



© 2020 Jonathan David Sadhoo

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Michelle Collay

Second Advisor

Kimberly Roberts-Morandi

Third Advisor

Brianna Bates Parsons

Fourth Advisor

Vincent Bowhay


For over 1,000 years, physical textbooks have been the primary course material tool utilized to facilitate knowledge transfer from the instructor to the student population. In current times, multiple barriers to success have emerged for the modern student of higher education, including affordability, accessibility, and quality. In addition, student engagement with the course material can be a critical factor for student achievement. Taylor & Parsons (2011) indicated that student engagement levels in the classroom are linked with overall success in the course. Within higher education, faculty and academic administrators are at the front lines, attempting to reduce and eliminate these obstacles so that their students achieve success in the classroom and across their overall academic experience. With many potential student success barriers linked to course material, there is a need to further examine the relationship between faculty, staff, the institution and the available course material delivery models. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of faculty and staff, related to selection of course material models and implications for relevant student success barriers, at a specific institution of higher education located in the Midwestern region of the United States. The researcher identified six participants that described their previous and current experience, as they relate to the study, through the qualitative interview protocol. Four major themes emerged, reflecting the experiences of the faculty and staff who participated in the research process. The themes included: a) course material affordability, b) course material accessibility, c) academic freedom and instructor autonomy, and d) student engagement. These findings are significant in understanding the potential barriers to student success, as they relate to course material models at the research site, how faculty and staff currently address existing challenges, and future steps to consider at the institution. The existing challenges include affordability of course materials and associated tools, accessibility options for the diverse student body at the research site, and the course material evaluation and selection process. After conducting research utilizing the qualitative, semi-structured interview protocol, the recommendations for future research include conducting subsequent studies to capture the experience and perspectives of additional employees and a comparative analysis between this research site and another site with similar identified characteristics.


Ed.D. Dissertation