Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Warren Hodge

Second Advisor

Dr. Sandra Gupton

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Coker

Fourth Advisor

Dr. E. Newton Jackson

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Jeff Wolfgang

Department Chair

Dr. Christopher Janson

College Dean

Dr. Marsha Lupi


The purpose of this study was to determine and examine the impact of student support services (SSS) on academic success at a historically black college. The study was grounded in the theoretical framework of Astin’s Input-Environment-Outcome Model (IEO), Scholssberg’s theory of marginality, holistic theory , facilitation theory, and the theory of sensory simulation (Dunn, 2002; Anderson et. al., 2011; Dennick, 2014 and Pritchard, 2013)

A mixed method approach was used to quantify and explicate triangulated data, which included the N-LSSI survey, archival data, and focus group interviews. The N-LSSI survey used a 7-point Likert Scale, and students from The College completed the instrument. The longitudinal nature of the study meant that the assumption of independent observations required by ANOVA was violated. Therefore, I used MANOVA to analyze SSS and Non-SSS student academic achievement data (i.e., GPA, Accuplacer test scores). This analysis also determined whether significant differences existed between the SSS and Non-SSS student participant groups based on means of the predictors. Qualitative data were organized, evaluated, and interpreted using open, axial and selective coding with MAXQDA, a qualitative data analysis software program.

The results of the analyses showed there were no significant differences between the two student groups relative to GPAs. In contrast, Accuplacer math scores, reading scores, and writing scores were significantly different. The retention differences between SSS and Non-SSS students were significant in 2011 and 2012, while graduation data revealed significant differences in 2012.

Results from the N-LSSI survey produced no significant difference between SSS and Non-SSS satisfaction with The College, while focus group interviews revealed student satisfaction levels were virtually the same.