Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Jill Channing

Committee Members

James Lampley, Ginger Christian


This qualitative study used phenomenological research methods to explore the lived experiences of single parents attending community college. The phenomenological research design was used to better understand participant experiences by examining the participant’s view of their situation. Thirteen single-parent students in community colleges in the United States were selected using purposeful sampling techniques. The participants included ten female participants and three male participants. Of these participants, nine students attended full-time, and four attended part-time. Each student participated in one-on-one interviews using Zoom technology.

The participants provided their perceptions of their experiences as single parents attending community college. These participants described themselves and their experiences through the lenses of motivation, challenges, needs, and support. In these interviews, key themes emerged. These themes included the recognition that single parents struggle emotionally and feel disconnected, the acknowledgment of single-parent strengths such as time management, organization, and hard work, and the need for single-parent aid such as financial, childcare, and academic assistance. Additional themes included the challenge for single parents to juggle conflicting roles, the fundamental role of internal motivation and drive, and the importance of communication, mentorship, and support. The findings of my study can be used to further institutional practice and provide insight into guidance and support for single-parent students.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.