Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Dolores Smiley

Committee Member

Jaime Arango


English as a second language, Adult education, Continuing education, Academic Persistence, Adult Education, Developmental Studies Programs, English for Academic Purposes, English Language Learners, Second Language Instruction


This applied dissertation provides insight into the various factors affecting persistence and transition to college-level courses for students learning English for academic purposes (EAP). An influx of immigrants who want to continue their postsecondary studies has affected the programs serving EAP students in United States. Scholars have identified some factors that influence persistence and success of immigrant students at postsecondary institutions such as cultural and educational norms, curriculum and career support, and academic and social interactions.

A qualitative approach with a multiple case study analysis allowed in-depth exploration of the factors affecting college course enrollment of EAP students. The researcher interviewed 10 participants who represented the student population enrolled in the EAP program. From these individual case analyses, the researcher identified strategies that could enhance retention and transition to college courses of EAP students. The researcher used NVivo qualitative data analysis software to gain a deeper understanding within textual categories and structural themes as well as to ensure thoroughness and reliability. The results of this study suggest that enhancement in both academic and social integration and curriculum and career support can assist EAP students in their transition to college courses.

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