School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


James Swezey

Primary Subject Area

Education, General


Opioids, Administrators, Experiences, Qualitative, Case, College


Educational Leadership | Higher Education


The purpose of the qualitative intrinsic case study was to investigate experiences of college administrators related to opioid use and misuse by students on a college campus in South Carolina. Opioid misuse on campus was generally defined as currently enrolled students who use prescription opioids without a prescription or for recreation. Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory guided this study. This conceptual model focused on the individual or the student situated in the center of microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem level influences, enhancing the understanding of how interpersonal, community, and systems issues can influence behavior. The central research question for this study was: What experiences do college administrators have with college students’ using and misusing opioids on college campuses? Data included semi-structured interviews with university administrators working for a South Carolina university, as well as a focus group and document reviews. The interviews were held via teleconference and the focus group was conducted on the university campus where the administrators worked. The data collection components for document review included written policies and procedures. Once the data was collected, it was reviewed to identify similarities or differences. Thematic analysis resulted in four emergent themes: resources and services, knowledge and perception, education and training for students and staff, and policies, laws, and guidelines. The results of the study revealed various experiences from the college administrators.