School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Sharon Michael-Chadwell


community, family, parent, partnerships, school, supports, urban


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to explore the perceptions and lived experiences of urban students when they participated in college transition programs in Virginia and how such programs, in addition to the family, school, and community supports and partnerships, prepared them for college. This study explored student perspectives regarding their journeys through high school graduation, the college application process, and college attendance. The participants shed light on their successes despite challenges they may have faced, especially when support from stakeholders such as their families, schools, and communities has been afforded them. The methods for this study were qualitative, utilizing a transcendental phenomenological design. The participants were selected through purposive sampling to include students who were part of college transition programs. The students’ high school experiences and permanent residences were from within one urban public school district in Richland, Virginia (pseudonym utilized), which is also the general setting. Because students were attending college, the data collection occurred virtually. Data collection included individual interviews, a single focus group, and a qualitative questionnaire. Significant statements were highlighted, coded, and analyzed to discover emerging themes from the data obtained. Several themes emerged which included student perceptions on how their families provided financial and emotional supports, acted as role models, and offered guidance. Additionally, the themes of rigor and advising, as well as programs and organizations and peers and culture emerged also.