Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Sue Harrison


This qualitative study explored the perceptions and experiences of students with college support services. The researcher identified and presented training for students who had been involved with student support services for more than one academic year, to act as focus group facilitators. Another group of students who had received support services for less than one academic year, was involved in the study as focus group participants. Two general themes and five subthemes emerged from the data analysis. These include the general theme Supportive Campus Environment (three subthemes: feeling isolated and alone; open academic and personal support; and visibility/availability of support services), and the general theme Student-Faculty/Staff Interaction (two subthemes: concerns with stigma; awareness and empathy). Data derived from the focus group sessions clearly demonstrates that interaction with faculty and staff and the visibility and availability of services are vital toward enhancing the use of support services. Additionally, obstacles such as time constraints, awareness of services, and concerns with stigmatization present barriers to seeking service. The findings of this research are compared to similar, important studies previously conducted in Alberta, Toronto, and Surrey, United Kingdom in order to draw significant conclusions about potential opportunities to create student centered support services.

Included in

Education Commons