School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Tamika Hibbert


Low-income Students, Boarding Program, Post-graduation Success, Transcendental Phenomenological Study


Education | Secondary Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of high school graduates who persisted to post-graduation success (PGS) after attending an all-male middle school boarding program (MSBP) for low-income students (LISs) in an urban community in the southeastern United States. The theory that guided this study was invitational theory by Purkey as it explains the relationship between the entire culture within the school. Semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and a song selection response activity were utilized to collect data from 12 participants. Moustakas’ steps for transcendental phenomenological research were conducted to analyze the data, including the Epoche process, transcendental phenomenological reduction, imaginative variation, synthesis, and descriptions of the essence. To further understand the success stories of students from the MSBP, the following central research question guided the study: What are the experiences of males who attended a MSBP for LISs and persisted to PGS? Sub-research questions addressed the positive experiences and barriers students faced within the MSBP, and they described their accomplishments and abilities in navigating challenging situations after middles school in light of attending the MSBP for LISs. Results verified that the MSBP contributed to the academic, emotional, and social development of participants during the MSBP, high school, and post-graduation. Analysis revealed six themes that contributed to the participants PGS: (a) character development, (b) social capital, (c) structured environments, (d) exposure experiences, (e) a band of brothers, and (f) high expectations. Future research should focus on more models of MSBPs for LISs and the perspectives of other stakeholders in verifying factors that contributed to PGS.