School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Michael Patrick


College experience, Generation Z, Male, Motivation, Resilience, Social Trends, Technology, Sociocultural, Human Connection, Community, Pedagogy, Heutagogy


Education | English Language and Literature | Higher Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to examine the academic experiences of 11 male Generation Z born between 1995-2012 and describe their undergraduate collegiate experiences by exploring their thoughts and perceptions. The central question is: What are the academic experiences of male undergraduate Generation Z college students? Intrinsic and extrinsic factors are sinuous in the lives of Generation Z males; therefore, sub-questions investigated the views of participants regarding the implications of generational shifts, motivations, societal trends, and technology within higher education. Purposive, criterion, and snowball sampling were used to select 11 participants. The educational theories of constructivism, sociocultural, and self-determination guided this study in understanding current generations in the college environment. A qualitative phenomenology model was used in data collection through the compilation of interviews, focus groups, and writing prompts to gain depth of understanding of perspectives. Data analysis was conducted using transcendental phenomenological approach through epoche', reduction, imaginative variation, and meaning synthesizing. Systematic coding, triangulation, and description were employed. The study attempted to discover psychological phenomenology which is focused on the description of the essence of Northern Virginia male college experience. Effective examination was required to extract the data essential to create curriculum to meet this evolving need.