School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Christian Raby


retention, recruitment, higher education, faculty involvement, two-year colleges


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the proven strategies used by faculty to increase retention and recruitment at two-year colleges. The theory guiding this study is van Manen’s theory on hermeneutical phenomenology, as it focuses on the lived experiences of the participants and interpreting their told stories. The setting of this research study consists of two-year community and technical colleges throughout the lower Southeastern United States. Participants in this study include faculty and academic chairs at two-year community and technical colleges throughout the lower Southeastern states who have experience in the student advising process. The faculty and academic chairs participating in the study have diverse backgrounds in teaching and work in various academic departments at their respective institutions. Data collection methods include individual interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires. An analysis and triangulation of the three data collection methods were conducted in order to identify significant and related words, phrases, and sentences which detailed their lived experiences of the phenomenon. Triangulation occurred by converging the findings from each individual interview, focus group, and questionnaire and then integrating the merged data into emergent themes based on the coding and classification of ideas. The entire data collection of this research study funnels into three main overarching themes, individualized attention, consistency in advising, and proactive communication, as well as two sub-themes, system changes and technology tools.