Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Lisa Carbone

Committee Member

Beverly Knox-Pipes


This phenomenological study was designed to provide an understanding of the lived experiences of nontraditional students who utilized support services at a public post-secondary institution in the State of Florida. From this study, findings identified the specific resources that these participants are using or have used during their time of enrollment, the obstacles and challenges they faced, and some recommendations that could potentially alleviate some issues nontraditional students face at postsecondary institutions. The sample population consisted of six participants, four of which are currently enrolled at a post-secondary institution and the other two graduated from a post-secondary institution within the last five years.

The participants shared their lived experiences related to utilizing support services at their respective institution. A comprehensive account of each case was documented, and the findings highlighted the experiences of these specific nontraditional students and the challenges they are currently facing or have faced while enrolled at a post-secondary institution in Florida. Upon analyzing the data, the researcher began by presenting the superordinate themes discovered in the data by first analyzing the themes as they emerged within and across the cases. The emergent themes were: 1) Academic support; 2) Support challenges; and 3) Access to services.