Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Catherine Glascock

Committee Members

Dr. R.J. Elbin, Dr. Hal Knight, Dr. James Lampley


The purpose of this qualitative study was to indicate the experiences of collegiate student-athletes in meeting academic demands when experiencing prolonged recovery from concussion and if they perceive a need for academic accommodations. There is a gap in present concussion and an absence of studies that examine if academic accommodations are helpful during concussion recovery. The study was guided by 3 research questions focused on the return to learn during the recovery process. The study was limited to 9 student-athletes currently enrolled at three postsecondary institutions: Christian Brothers University, Rhodes College, and the University of Memphis. The study participants met pre-established criteria for the study, were recruited by their athletic trainer at their respective institution, and voluntarily participated in individual interviews with the researcher or co-interviewer. Through a phenomenological approach, individual interviews were conducted with the participants. Four themes were identified in the data: negative impact on academic performance, academic pressures, inequity of student-athlete treatment, and impact on concentration ability. Each study participant’s story was shared through the data analysis process, and significant statements from the interviews as related to the research questions were included in the data analysis section. Ultimately, the data suggested that future research continue to focus on how student-athletes' recovery from concussion impacts their return to learn process.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.